Santiniketan: India-China relations are not going to be a walk in the park, but the two nations need to have the confidence to make things work, Chinese consul-general in Kolkata, Ma Zhanwu said on Friday.
Speaking at the inaugural session to commemorate the 80th anniversary of Cheena Bhavana here, he said the “differences” between the two countries were outweighed by their shared interest and trust.
Calling for a new impetus in the bilateral relations, Ma said, “China-India relationship is not going to be a walk in the park. It is going to be difficult with ups and downs. However, we need to have confidence that we can do it”.
Quoting a recent statement of Chinese President Xi Jinping, he said his country did not pose a threat to any other nation, and “certainly not India”.
“Our president had said China will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion, and will not pose any threat to anybody,” he said.
Describing China as a “modern, prosperous, socialist and democratic” country, Ma said it wants to make its relationship with India most vibrant one. “We need to aim high. We need to have mutual trust. We need to hear from the other side as well,” the Chinese diplomat said.
Ma also asked the media to play a key role in bolstering ties between the two nations.
“Talk more of great nations and less of conflicts,” he said. Hailing the two-day conference to mark the 80th anniversary of Cheena Bhavana, he said over 70 scholars from China were attending the meet for which preparations had begun one-and-a-half years back.
The Cheena Bhavana (Institute of Chinese Language and Culture) at Visva Bharati University was founded by Rabindranath Tagore in April, 1937.
Stressing the need to realise Tagore’s vision for the institute, he said, “There should be more interaction in boosting Sino-India relations. We need to focus on economic development and political relations as part of our study”. The consul-general lamented that there were many interpreters of Chinese language from countries like Canada, but very few from India.
“We need to look at our immediate neighbours. This is true for both nations,” he said. Ma also advocated the introduction of Chinese learning course from junior level in India, and Hindi and other Indian language courses in China.
Talking about Cheena Bhavana retaining its heritage, acting vice-chancellor of the varsity, Swapan Dutta, said, “We have kept the building design intact, and will never tinker with these things. However, we are modernising the lab with interactive audio and video.”