New Delhi: The 150th birth anniversary of Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore has brought India and China closer and the Chinese government plans to build a museum at the bard`s family residence in Jorasanko in Kolkata, Chinese Ambassador to India Zhang Yan said.
"The relationship between India and China is developing very well. People and scholars of both the countries are having high hopes about cooperations at domestic and international level," Zhang Yan said at the launch of book "Tagore and China" at the Alliance Francaise in the capital Wednesday.
"This important book has information related to Tagore`s friendship and relationship with China and the Chinese people," the ambassador said, adding that "it would give further impetus to the development of the relationship between India and China".
"Tagore went to China in the last century, met many Chinese scholars and left a deep impression on the people," he said.
The Chinese ambassador said that two months ago, he went to Kolkata and visited his residence in Jorasanko to decide where China was going to set up a museum "which will introduce Tagore`s relationship with China".
"China has donated some money. We will complete the project later this year. We will prepare books and documents which will be displayed at the museum," he said.
"In 2009, when the country was celebrating the 60th anniversary of the People`s Republic of China, we collected a list of people from around the world who had influenced China the most. Tagore was among them," the ambassador said.
"Tagore and China", an anthology of essays and reminiscences, is the first full account in English of Rabindranath Tagore`s 50-day visit to China in 1924, the lectures he delivered there and its impact on Asian social, literary and cultural landscape.
This book unearths new material from Chinese sources to confirm the devotion of Tagore`s interpreter, poet Xu Zhimo, and Tagore`s affection for him; Tagore`s two personal visits to Xu Zhimo, preceded by the latter`s visit to Santiniketan.
The volume, which has two forewords by Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and a chapter on India and China by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, has been edited by scholars Tan Chung, Wang Bengwei, Amiya Dev and Wei Liming.
"Tagore and China" is one of the first books on Sino-Indian ties published by Sage India and the Central Compilation and Translation Press in China, following an agreement between the two in 2010 at the Beijing Book Fair, where India was the guest country, managing director and CEO of Sage India Vivek Mehra said.
Five more books are in the pipeline, he said.
The book was released by Jayant Prasad, special secretary in the ministry of external affairs.
Addressing the launch, Chief Economic Advisor to the finance ministry Kaushik Basu, said: "The relationship between India and China has to move beyond government to government level and needs to be ramped at cultural and social levels."
Tagore`s Nobel Prize-winning work "Gitanjali" had been translated in Chinese as early as 1915 by Tagore`s Chinese aficionado Chen Du Xiu, who joined the Communist Party of China.