On September 24, the Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China (PRC) in Mumbai hosted a reception at the Garden View Hall in the city's Taj Lands End Hotel, in anticipation of the 73rd National Day of the PRC, due on October 1 this year.
National Day is a public holiday in China celebrated annually on October 1, commemorating the formal proclamation of the establishment of the People's Republic of China on 1 October 1949.
The Chinese Communist Party victory in the Chinese Civil War resulted in the Kuomintang retreat to Taiwan and the Chinese Communist Revolution whereby the People's Republic of China replaced the Republic of China.
Chinese National Day is celebrated throughout mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau. The government hosts a variety of festivities, including grand fireworks and cultural events, and public spaces are decorated.
China’s National Day is celebrated over a one-week period, beginning from October 1 and running until October 7.
Speaking at the reception, PRC Consul-General Kong Xianhua noted that China had a come a long way since the establishment of the PRC 73 years ago.
"Over the past 73 years, we have been working so har, dedicated so much, and the reward is so great. Our GDP is now the 2nd largest in the world and accounts for over 18% of the total, and the per capita income has surpassed $10,000. In addition to the expansion of quantity, we are paying more attention to quality," he said, noting rapid advances made by China as it seeks to climb the value chain and establish itself as a producer of high-tech goods, as opposed to mass-produced cheap goods.
Xianhua also noted the astonishing progress that China has made in the fight against poverty: "Most important of all, nearly 100 million people have been out of poverty in the past ten years. This achievement means China is 10 years ahead of the United Nations' 2030 Agenda. Last July 1st, on the 100 anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, president Xi Jinping announced the absolute poverty had been entirely eliminated from our motherland," he stated.
Xianhua also feted Sino-Indian ties, calling for greater cooperation between the two Asian giants at a time when bilateral ties between New Delhi and Beijing are chilly.
"It is so obvious to me that our consular district is at the forefront of Indian development and opening-up. The economy is resilient and dynamic, the people are friendly and energetic, the culture is colorful and fascinating. I'm deeply impressed by your hospitality and the remarkable performance of Indian development. I'm pretty sure here will continue to take the lead in cooperation between China and India," the Consul-General said.
Noting the fact that the world is entering a period of growing geopolitical and economic uncertainty, Xinhua acknowledged Sino-Indian tensions, but expressed his desire that these tensions should not derail the overall trajectory of the relationship.
"Today we are witnessing an evolution that has never been seen in the last century. Global economy is facing tremendous uncertainties. We should neither deny the difficulties existing in China-India relations. It seems there are more frustrations than hopes. But as my favorite Indian song Awaara Hoon goes: "Zakhmon se bhara seena hai mera; Hansti hai magar yeh mast nazar"."
Xinhua concluded by noting that there was much in common between the ambitions and aspirations of the two countries, as expressed by their leaders Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping.
"On the 75th Indian National Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi put forward the vision of building India into a developed country by 2047. China is also aiming at achieving our second centenary goal by 2049. As President Xi Jinping pointed out, the "China dream and India dream are interwoven".
"What these Chinese invested companies are doing today is exactly interweaving the dreams," he said, adding that, "They are playing and will surely continue to play an important role in the strategy of Make in India, in the pursuit of a One-Trillion-Dollar economy by Maharashtra, and in fulfilling India dream as well as China dream."
Notably, despite India’s efforts to reduce dependence on Chinese imports amid an increased policy emphasis on self-reliance and the continuing tension along the border, the country’s bilateral trade with China has grown 44 per cent in 2021, according to Chinese government data for the full calendar year. Imports grew over a record 46 per cent while exports were up 35 per cent.
This came even as New Delhi modified foreign direct investment (FDI) rules making the Centre’s approval a must for any FDI in Indian firms from neighbouring countries — apparently aimed at preventing opportunistic takeovers of domestic firms by Chinese companies during the pandemic.
New Delhi also told state-owned telecommunication companies, BSNL and MTNL, to exclude Chinese telecom equipment firms including Huawei and ZTE from its network upgrading process.