Shanghai: President Pratibha Patil on Saturday
said the commitment of China`s top leadership, including her
counterpart Hu Jintao, to strengthen Sino-Indian ties was
evident during the "wide-ranging" and "constructive" talks she
had with them.
In her first public engagement in Shanghai, China`s
gleaming business hub, Patil said India and China enjoy a
thriving trade and economic relationship, vibrant cultural
ties and also greater people-to-people exchanges.
"I have had wide-ranging and constructive discussions
with President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and other Chinese
leaders. Their commitment to strengthening India-China ties
was evident in all our interactions," Patil said, addressing
the Indian community here.
Patil, who is the first Indian Head of State to visit
China in a decade, had met Hu, also the General Secretary of
the ruling Communist Party of China, and Wen on Thursday in
Beijing and had discussed ways and means to take their
strategic relationship to "great heights."
Patil, who arrived here after inaugurating the first
Indian-styled Buddhist temple in China at Luoyang, said the
bilateral ties have expanded and diversified considerably.
She said the two countries are working closely on many
important global issues, including climate change,
international financial and economic matters at the G-20 and
at the Doha Round of global trade negotiations.
Patil lauded the Indian community for their
contributions in strengthening India-China relations.
"...Through your work and life here and elsewhere in
China, you have become messengers of India-China friendship,
modern-day Dharmaratnas and Kumarajeevas. It is to you that
the task of carrying forward our lasting traditions of
friendship has been bequeathed," Patil said.
She said the Indian community in China has a special
responsibility of creating goodwill and functioning as a
bridge between our two nations.
"Your interactions with the local people and your
achievements here in China will shape perceptions about
She said the Indian-style Buddhist Temple was a gift
from the people of India to the people of China.
"The temple will be a lasting symbol of friendship
between our two countries. Tomorrow, it will be my honour to
unveil, here in Shanghai, a bust of Gurudev Tagore?a poet,
writer, scholar, painter, philosopher and the author of our
National Anthem," Patil said.
She also noted that her visit coincides with the 60th
Anniversary year of the establishment of diplomatic relations
between the two countries.
The `Festival of India in China` has given the people
of China an insight into our rich heritage.
"Our participation at the Shanghai Expo 2010, is also
an integral part of our outreach to the Chinese people, which
allows us to project our values and ethos," she said.