Li urges efforts to carry on Sino-India friendship

Updated: 2013-05-22 04:51


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MUMBAI - Visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday called for efforts to carry on China-India traditional friendship as he paid tribute to an Indian doctor who died treating Chinese troops more than 70 years ago.

"Dr. Dwarkanath Kotnis is a great friend of the Chinese people, " Li told relatives of the Indian doctor.

Kotnis went to China "despite all the hardships and risks" more than 70 years ago and "devoted his life to assisting the Chinese people in their fight against Japanese invaders," Li said.

The Chinese premier viewed Kotnis' old pictures in China, together with the late doctor's younger sister Manorama and other relatives.

"The Chinese people will never forget the sincere help offered by the Indian friend during their most difficult period. Dr. Kotnis will forever live in the hearts of the Chinese people," he said.

Li expressed the hope that the family of Kotnis would continue to care about and support the development of China-India ties and help pass on China-India friendship to future generations.

Manorama Kotnis and other relatives thanked Li for his special meeting, saying Kotnis is a symbol of China-India friendship.

Although he passed away more than half a century ago, the fact that the Chinese people still remember him makes them proud and deeply moved, they said.

Kotnis' relatives vowed to carry on his spirit and work as ambassadors of India-China friendship.

Li, on his first foreign trip since taking office in March, also spoke highly of China-India cooperation.

"After meeting with Indian leaders and people from all walks of life, I found the friendly cooperation between China and India is deeply rooted in the people, and bilateral ties between the two nations have broad prospects," he said.

On Monday, the Chinese premier said the most important outcome of his talks with Indian leaders is that they reached strategic consensus and deepened strategic trust.