Festivals of China in India played crucial role in increasing awareness: PM

New Delhi, Dec.17 (ANI): Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Friday said the festivals of China in India have played a crucial role in increasing awareness about both countries and their cultures.

Addressing the closing ceremony of the Festival of China in India in Delhi, Dr. Singh said: "The Festivals of China in India and of India in China have played a crucial role in increasing awareness and consciousness about each other's countries and cultures."

"We have been touched by the response of the people of China to the Festival of India in China. The people of India have on their part watched with admiration the Shanghai Expo and the spectacular conduct of the Asian Games in China," he added.

The closing ceremony of the Festival of China in India also associated the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and China.

The Prime Minister called India and China two great ancient civilizations that have flourished for thousands of years.

"The constant exchange of ideas, scholars, goods and scriptures has enriched our relationship through the ages, and finds a strong resonance in modern times," said Dr. Singh.

He said the contemporary India-China relations are a product of the long evolutionary process of historical contacts, and the underlying emphasis of both civilizations on traditions and values; the arts and culture; dialogue; the spirit of adventure and the unyielding quest for progress and development.

Dr. Singh further said that six decades ago, as young nations, India and China rediscovered each other and understood each other's aspirations. The development of sound elations with China has since then been a constant feature of India's foreign policy.

"As the economic weight of the world shifts towards Asia, the steady development of India and China has opened new opportunities for the global economy. Our shared interest in creating a more equitable world order has transformed our relations beyond its bilateral dimension to a strategic and global partnership," said Dr. Singh.

"There is enough space in the world for both India and China to grow and fulfill the development aspirations of their respective peoples," he added.

The Prime Minister said the celebrations of the 60th anniversary would also open hearts and minds to usher in the next decades of India-China friendship and cooperation.

"We must significantly enhance our understanding of each other through greater exchanges in all fields, whether cultural, tourism, sports, students or scholars. We must close the information gap between us and learn about each other's achievements directly rather than through third sources," said Dr. Singh.

He maintained that the India-China cooperation would be the keystone of the Asian century.

Dr. Singh also applauded the role played by Premier Wen Jiabao in the advancement of the Strategic and Cooperative Partnership and said this has laid the ground for the future growth of India-hina relations. (ANI)

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