Chinese president confers friendship award in India

Updated: 2014-09-19 21:35


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NEW DELHI -- Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping conferred a friendship award to Indian groups and individuals here Friday, calling for carrying forward the friendship between the two countries.

The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence Friendship Award was conferred on the representatives of the Dr. Dwarkanath Kotnis family, the Dr. Dwarkanath Kotnis Memorial Committee, the Department of Chinese Language and Culture (Cheena Bhavana) with the Visva-Bharati University, and the India-China Friendship Association.

Dr. Jyoti Mohapatra, secretary general of the Friends of China Society, and Dr. Mohan Reddy, secretary general of the Andra Pradesh Chapter of the India-China Friendship Association, were also granted the award.

The Chinese president spoke highly of the important contributions the awardees have made over a long period of time to the China-India friendship.

Recalling the touching stories of Dr. Kotnis who died treating Chinese troops more than 70 years ago in China and Rabindranath Tagore who helped establish the Department of Chinese Language and Culture at the Visva-Bharati University in 1937, Xi said it is a great and noble cause for the two nations to carry forward the friendship between China and India.

"The Chinese people hope that our two peoples will be eternal friends and partners for common development who help each other on the path toward national rejuvenation," he said.

"I would like to see more and more people from both sides actively join the friendship cause," he added.

The awardees echoed Xi's words, saying that they will continue to make contributions to the India-China friendship.

Among them was the younger sister of late Dr. Kotnis, 93-year-old Manorama Kotnis, who sits in a wheelchair and came to New Delhi from Mumbai specially for the event.

She said her family found it very touching that the Chinese government and people still think of Dr. Kotnis and his relatives.

The Kotnis family will carry on the doctor's spirit and contribute more to the India-China friendship cause, she added..

In 1954, leaders of China, India and Myanmar initiated the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which stand for mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence.

India is the last stop of Xi's four-nation tour in Central and South Asia, which has already taken him to Tajikistan, Maldives and Sri Lanka. In Tajikistan, he also attended a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.