70th anniversary of diplomatic relations: India, China pledge to fight COVID-19

Akhilesh Suman

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chinese President Xi Jinping. PTI Photo / PIB

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
PTI Photo / PIB

Amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic, India and China greeted each other on the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations.

Both President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi exchanged letters of greeting with China’s President Xi Jinping.

Prime Minister Modi and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang also exchanged letters expressing good wishes as did External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

In his letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping, President Ram Nath Kovind conveyed “warm greetings, felicitations and good wishes”to the Government and people of China.

He said that both sides had “made considerable progress especially in the last few years in enhancing our bilateral engagement in a number of areas, including political, economic and people-to-people ties”.

Chinese President Xi noted in his message that China-India relations have travelled a remarkable journey in the last seven decades.

“Thanks to the joint efforts of both sides, our two countries have established a Strategic and Cooperative Partnership for Peace and Prosperity and are working to build a Closer Developmental Partnership. Our two countries are enjoying deeper exchanges and cooperation across the board and growing coordination in major international and regional affairs,” said President Xi.

In his message to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Prime Minister Modi said, “‘India and China are two ancient civilizations, with a long history of mutually beneficial exchanges over centuries. Today, we are two large developing countries and emerging economies who are increasingly playing an important role on the global landscape. As such, good relations between India and China are conducive not only for our respective countries, but are also important from the perspective of peace, stability and prosperity of our region and the world”.

The Prime Minister also noted that “the COVID-19 pandemic was a reminder to us of the interconnected nature of our world today and the need therefore to adopt a truly global response to it”.

Prime Minister Modi said that he looked forward to working with the Chinese Premier to “further deepen and strengthen our closer developmental partnership and take it to even greater heights in the years to come”.

External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar told Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi that in the last seven decades, “India-China relations have expanded substantially and become increasingly diverse and multifaceted”.

He added that due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the two sides, “have been unable to carry out the various activities that had been planned to celebrate this historic anniversary. Nonetheless, we should continue to work cooperatively in the coming months and, once we and the world are able to control the COVID-19 outbreak, celebrate this milestone in a manner duly reflective of its significance and the common aspirations of our two peoples”.

Plans made for 70 celebratory events to commemorate the historical day came unstuck due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nevertheless, even as both countries continue to address the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, they remain engaged in discussions on commemorating this historic anniversary in a manner that reflects the significance and the aspirations of the two nations. The two sides are currently working together to jointly design a logo to mark the celebrations.