Remarks by H. E. Mr. Zhang Yan at the Gala Performance of "Experience China: Sichuan Week in India"
Honourable Dr. Gill, Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation,
Honourable Mr. Jiang Jufeng, Governor of Sichuan Province
Mr. Feng Xiwang, Deputy Director General of the State Council Information Office
Ladies and gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome all of you to attend this gala performance of "Experience China: Sichuan Week in India".
Known as "the land of abundance", Sichuan Province is home to over 50 of China's ethnic minority groups and represents one of the largest culturally diverse provinces of China.
Sichuan is historically linked to India. Over 2,000 years ago a trade route called the Southern Silk Road was opened which originated from Chengdu, now the capital city of Sichuan Province, and went through Yunnan Province and Myanmar to reach India. It facilitated not only the trade and commerce, but also the cultural exchange between China and India.
Sichuan's growing ties with India are part of the ever expanding multi-faceted relations between our two countries. Last year China and India celebrated the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. The Festival of China in India and the Festival of India in China were successfully held. I have to mention that the closing ceremony of Indian Festival was held in Chengdu, the capital city of the province.
2011 was declared the Year of China-India Exchange during Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to India in last December. Earlier this month, during the bilateral meeting in Sanya, Hainan Province, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh officially launched the Year of China-India Exchange. "Experience China: Sichuan Week in India" is one of the major events of exchange programme.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Cultural exchange serves as a bridge between nations and peoples and promote mutual understanding and friendship. The gala performance tonight is going to offer you a rare opportunity to experience the unique and diversified cultural of Sichuan Province of China. And I am sure it will give positive impetus to overall China-India relation.
I hope you all will enjoy the show.