Address by Ambassador Sun Weidong at the Opening Ceremony of Exhibition of Cultural Relics from Hubei Province at National Museum
2019/11/17

November 13, 2019

Honourable CEO of Development of Museums and Cultural Spaces Raghvendra Singh,

Shri Subrata Nath, Additional DG of National Museum,

Director General of Hubei Department of Culture and Tourism Lei Wenjie,

Executive Deputy Director Wan Quanwen,

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Namaste and good afternoon.

After over one year’s preparation, we are here to officially launch the “Ritual Vessels and Musical Instruments of Ancient China: A Special Exhibition of Cultural Relics from Hubei Province”. This exhibition comes from the consensus reached by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Wuhan Informal Summit in April, 2018. It gives me great pleasure to attend the opening ceremony of this wonderful exhibition with all the distinguished guests present today.

As you may know, the Yangtze River, which is like the Ganges River to India, is one of the mother rivers of the Chinese nation. The Yangtze River is the world’s third longest river, with a length of 6280 kilometers. Hubei is the only province with 1000-plus kilometers of the Yangtze River. And thanks to this great river, Chu culture was cultivated in Hubei from thousands of years ago and became a significant part of the Chinese civilization.

In Hubei, Suizhou is believed to be the birthplace of Yan Emperor Shennong, ancestor of the Chinese people. That’s why Chinese people all over the world call themselves as descendants of the Yan and Huang Emperors, and come to this place every year to trace their root. The Chu people worship phoenix. The 2300-year-old Drum with Phoenix Rack on Tiger-shaped Pedestal, a musical instrument of the Chu State, is the most typical lacquerware with unique characteristics of the Chu Culture. Bronze smelting in Hubei boasts a history of more than 2,000 years. It represents the highest level of China’s bronze casting techniques. We have an old saying in China, “惟楚有才”,literally means Brilliants are all from the kingdom of Chu. Hubei is an inspiring place producing lots of outstanding people, in the fields of politics, economics, science, military, culture and philosophy.

The Indian visitors of today’s exhibition could experience the Chu culture from the exhibits on display. As President Xi Jinping said, we need to bring all collections in our museums, all heritage structures across our lands and all records in our classics to life. In this way, the Chinese civilization, together with the rich and colorful civilizations created by the people of India and other countries, will provide mankind with the right cultural guidance and strong motivation.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

Not long ago, the Leaders of China and India held their second informal meeting in Chennai, providing strategic guidance for bilateral relations. The leaders stressed that China and India should learn from each other, “brighten up each other”, and achieve the rejuvenation of the two great civilizations. We should join hands to make great contribution to build a community with a shared future for mankind. This points to the direction of our future cooperation.

To materialize this goal, we need to deepen pragmatic cooperation in all fields, expand people-to-people and cultural exchanges and enhance mutual understanding and trust. We need to transmit the consensus of our leaders to all the levels, to go beyond the mode of differences management, focus on actively shaping the bilateral relations. We need to jointly make the cake of cooperation even bigger, so as to achieve a win-win result.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

Next year will mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and India, the two countries will celebrate the "Year of China-Indian Cultural and People-to-People Exchange”. Both India and China are countries with a long history of civilization. Our cultures interacted very closely for centuries. The exchanges in culture, religion, trade and education flourished along the silk road through land and oceans which is the portrait of the dialogue between two great civilizations.

Civilizations have become richer and more colorful with exchanges and mutual learning. Such exchanges and mutual learning form an important drive for human progress and global peace and development.

We should encourage different civilizations to respect each other and live in harmony, so that exchanges and mutual learning between civilizations will become a bridge promoting friendship between people around the world, an engine driving progress of human society, and a bond cementing world peace. In this regard, while implementing our leaders’ consensus, we shall promote cooperation in the fields of trade and economy, people-to-people and cultural, science and technology, environmental protection, facilitate mutual visits of our two peoples, actively conduct exchanges of experiences in the governance of the country and explore new frontiers of civilizational exchanges, so that the two major oriental civilizations will assume new vigour and vitality.

Last but not least, I would like to thank Indian National Museum and Hubei Provincial Museum for co-hosting this exhibition, and I appreciate everyone present here for sharing with us the inauguration of this exhibition.

I wish the Special Exhibition of Cultural Relics from Hubei Province a great success! Thank you!

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