Xu Feihong, Chinese Ambassador To India, Visits Dr Dwarkanath Kotnis Memorial In Solapur: 'Vision & Conviction Will Take India-China Relations Forward'

Xu Feihong, Chinese Ambassador To India, Visits Dr Dwarkanath Kotnis Memorial In Solapur: 'Vision & Conviction Will Take India-China Relations Forward'

Xu Feihong, Chinese Ambassador To India, also visited a municipal school, where he was welcomed to the beats of dhols and lezims

Gaurav KadamUpdated: Thursday, July 11, 2024, 12:30 PM IST
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Xu Feihong, Chinese Ambassador To India, Visits Dr Dwarkanath Kotnis Memorial In Solapur: 'Vision & Conviction Will Take India-China Relations Forward' | FPJ

On his first visit outside Delhi since being appointed as the Chinese Ambassador to India, Xu Feihong travelled to Solapur in Maharashtra on Wednesday. The city, which is approximately 8,000 kilometres from China, shares a unique connection with the country through the legacy of Dr Dwarkanath Kotnis.

Born in 1910 in Solapur, Dr Kotnis was part of a five-member Indian medical team that travelled to China in 1938 to aid injured troops and citizens during the Japanese invasion. While working on the frontlines, Dr Kotnis met and married a Chinese nurse and decided to stay in China. Unfortunately, he fell ill due to the harsh working conditions and died on December 9, 1942, at the age of 32. His heroic deeds have left an indelible mark on China, where he is remembered and revered.

During his visit to Solapur, the Chinese Ambassador paid his respects at the Dr Dwarkanath Kotnis Memorial. He laid a wreath at the statue of Dr Kotnis. Accompanied by local officials and Dr Rajendra Jadhav, Chairman of the Dr Kotnis Memorial Committee, Feihong viewed the exhibits at the memorial and had a cordial conversation with Dr Kotnis' relatives.

The Ambassador's next stop was a municipal school, where he was welcomed to the beats of dhols and lezims. Here, he held a conversation with the students and teachers and presented a bronze statue of Dr Kotnis to the school, along with Consul General Kong Xianhua.

Speaking on the occasion, Feihong said China would never forget Dr Kotnis' contribution to their country. He said, "He saved countless Chinese lives with his excellent medical skills and trained many Chinese medical personnel. A friend in need is a friend indeed. The Chinese people will never forget Dr Kotnis, and we have been supporting the development of Dr Kotnis' hometown for a long time. Last year, the Chinese Consulate General in Mumbai and some Chinese enterprises upgraded the facilities for this school. We are ready to provide more assistance to the school and the students within our capacity."

Feihong also spoke about the commonality between India and China — the two Asian superpowers — and emphasised that vision and conviction will take the relations between the two countries forward. "China and India have a long history of cultural exchanges and mutual learning. Along the ancient Silk Road, Chinese paper-making, silk, porcelain, and tea were brought to India, and Indian singing, dancing, astronomy, architecture, and spices were introduced to China. There are striking similarities between Chinese Taichi and India's Yoga and between traditional Chinese medicine and India's Ayurveda. Chinese and Indian philosophies have a lot in common too. In China, Indian friends like Dr Kotnis and Rabindranath Tagore are well-known, and Indian culture such as Bollywood films and yoga is popular. In India, we are always impressed by Indian people's interest in China and support for China-India relations," he added.

He further said, "The development of China and India reinforces each other. We are both ancient civilizations and the two most populous countries in the world. Development is the greatest common goal of both countries. China is realising the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation through the Chinese path to modernisation. India has also put forward the vision of becoming a developed country by 2047. China wants to develop well for itself and hopes India will develop well too. President Droupadi Murmu told me that a good India-China relationship is important not only for the two countries but also for the development and stability of the region and the world. She said that our two countries should strive to cultivate good neighbourly relations. China shares the same expectation."

The Ambassador then paid a visit to the Solapur Municipal Corporation building, where he was greeted by the officials. He was informed about the heritage building and its significance. Here, the Ambassador's wife, Tan Yuxiu, and the women officials exchanged gifts.

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