Kolkata, 13 January: Describing 2019 as one of the most ‘remarkable and fruitful years’ in furthering the ‘Goodwill relations’ between India and China, Chinese Ambassador in India Sun Weidong hopes to carry forward the same legacy during the coming years too with a number of promotional bilateral ventures on both sides of the international borders.
Speaking here on the sidelines of a colourful programme on Sunday to mark the Chinese Lunar New Year, during his two day maiden visit to West Bengal after assuming the office in New Delhi last year, career diplomat Weidong who also served as the Chinese Amabassador in Pakistan before coming to India,said since Chinese President Xi Jinping had met at least four times Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi on different occasions last year,the relations between the two giant neighbours in Asia had strengthened further and touched a new high as 2019 also marked the 70th anniversary of the formation of the People’s Republic of China.
Claiming that an all round development of China took place during the past one decade, the country’s top envoy said as a result the Chinese GDP had crossed the 100 trllion Yuan last year with the per capita income touching a record 10,000 USD mark.
Underscoring the need for a ‘harmonious,peaceful and very cordial relations’ between the two neighbouring countries,the Chinese Ambassador said since the present government in India came to power ‘we have been enjoying the best of all round relations between us’.
But when his attention was drawn to the possibility of skirmishes came up at Doklam at the tri-junction of India-Bhutan and the Chinese borders in the North East in June 2017, Ambassador Weidong refused to make any comment and said such issues would never come in the way of developing a very good and cordial neighbourly relations between ‘our two countries’.
Stating that a number of agreements between the two countries had also been signed since last year to further improve the business ties between India and China and take it much ahead form the current volume of around 76 billion USD,he,however denied that there was any unlawful dumping of goods in India.
Replying to queries regarding the feasibility of continuous tilting of trade volume in favour of China despite all out attempts to stop the slide by the Indian government, Ambassador Weidong, flanked by Chinese Consul General In Kolkata Zha Liyou on his side, said unlike most of the other countries Indian manufactured products had also become very popular among the Chinese population, and claimed that the high quality and comparatively cheaper price tags were the two main components behind the immense popularity of Chinese made products in India like elsewhere in the world.
Describing 2020 would be considered as another milestone year for China since the Xi Jinping government was determined to completely alleviate poverty from the country within the next 12 months, Ambassador Weidong said the close ‘people to people relations’ between the two Sister cities of Kolkata and Kunming,The capital of Yunan province in South East China, had been growing very successfuly over the past several years.
He said to mark the 70th anniversary of his country, altogetehr 70 different kinds of socio- cultural and business related programmes and meetings would be organised this year in both the countries.
He, however, refused to make any comment on India’s decision of not participating in the Chinese sponsored ‘One Belt One Road’ project to set up a direct road connectivity between Asia and Europe via Africa at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars.
Earlier to mark the onset of the Chinese New year a very colourful and dynamic cultural programme was presented by the artistes from both the countries in presence of hundreds of Chinese speaking citizens living in and around Kolkata and other dignitaries when the Consul General addressed the gathering.