Spectacular ceremony fetes 60 years of India-China ties (Second lead)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

NEW DELHI - Jugglers, acrobats, folk performers from the Fujian province, magicians, bowl dancers, Indo-Chinese fusion orchestra and Indian Kathak recitals said Jai ho to 60 years of diplomatic ties between India and China in a spectacular closing ceremony of the Festival of China in India here Thursday that was attended by visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The wrestling arena of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the capital stretched to its seams to accommodate more than 700 guests that included Chinese delegates, hundreds of school children and invited guests, who rocked to the colourful exposition of contemporary and Chinese music, fusion dances and an unique rendition of A.R. Rahman’s signature melody, Jai Ho, by a Sino-Indian orchestra.

Addressing the gathering, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said: “The festivals of China in India and the Festival of India in China have played a crucial role in increasing awareness about each other’s cultures and civilisations. We have been touched by the response to the festival of India in China. People in India got a glimpse of the richness of China’s culture through the Festival of China in India.

“India and China are two great civilisations that have flourished for thousands of years. The arts, culture and the unyielding quest for progress and development over the last six decades have helped India China discover each other’s aspirations and has been the cornerstone of India and China’s foreign policy.”

“India-China cooperation will be the keystone of the Asian century that is unfolding before us,” he added.

“In the development of this century, India and China will march as friends, not as rivals,” he said, adding: “There is enough space in the world for both India and China to grow and fulfil development aspirations of their respective people.”

He said that both countries should work towards bridging the “information gap” between the two nations.

“We must close the information gap between us and learn about each other’s achievement, directly rather than through third countries,” he said.

Our interest in creating a more equitable world order has led to a strategic and global partnership. In the exchange over the two days, I am happy to note that there has been a convergence of ideas on what the two countries can do together, he said.

The Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao also called for “heart-to-heart” exchanges between the two populous nations. He designated 2011 as the year of exchange between India and China in youth, media, culture and academic affairs.

The hospitable Chinese people warmly receive you with open arms, Jiabao said.

The nine-month long festival of China opened in April 2010 at the Purana Qila with a religious concert ‘Harmony of the Divine Land: A Symphony of Chinese Buddhist Music’ by a 160-member Buddhist orchestra.

The reciprocal festival of India in China began in May with a play, Uttar Priyadarshini based on the life of Emperor Ashoka.

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