Remarks by Consul General Tang Guocai at the Online Spring Festival Celebration in 2021

Respected Mr. Sudheendra Kulkarni,

Respected Dr. G.H. Fernandes,

Dear Dr. Ajit Ranade,

Dear Mr. Rajendra Jadhav,

Overseas Chinese, ladies and gentlemen, friends,

I am very delighted to be with you all to celebrate the traditional Chinese New Year,the year of the Ox. On behalf of the Chinese Consulate in Mumbai, I would like to extend my sincerest greetings to friends from all walks of life and the compatriots in the consular district!

2020 is an extraordinary year. Facing the Covid-19 epidemic and the complicated international and domestic situations, under the planning and command of President Xi Jinping, the Chinese Communist Party has led the people of all ethnic groups across the country to gain major strategic achievements in the prevention and control of the Covid-19 epidemic, and maintained stable economic growth. Great historical achievements have been made in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. The year 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC and the beginning of the 14th "Five-Year Plan". We will accelerate the construction of a new development pattern and make strides towards the new journey of building a modern and powerful socialist country.

Culture and economy are important pillars of development and even state-to-state relations. Today, Chinese and Indian friends celebrate the Chinese New Year together, which also vividly demonstrates mutual learning of the two major civilizations of China and India. When it comes to the Spring Festival, people always think of the world’s largest Spring Festival travel rush. This year, instead of travelling back home, we choose to celebrate the New Year right where we are. Every and each one of us are doing our bit for the controlling of the COVID-19 epidemic. Chinese New Year is like Diwali in India. It is the time when people's hearts are most linked and the best time to carry forward cultural heritage. China and India are brothers for thousands of years. In modern times, we have been fellow sufferers in the pursuit of national independence and rejuvenation. The inheritance of culture has enabled the people of our two countries to better understand each other. Let us join hands to be a better man, contribute to a better country and world, and build a community with a shared future for mankind.

At present, China-India relation is at a critical stage. The trust deficit is prominent due to the remnant of Western colonialism and the Cold War mentality. This morning, President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden talked on the phone and exchanged views on major regional and international affairs. Both China and India should focus on fighting the epidemic, developing the economy, improving people's livelihood, and managing our own affairs well. We should promote exchanges and cooperation in vaccine and medical care, trade, investment and culture. The southwestern coastal area of India where the consular district is located is the forefront of India's reform, opening up and development. It is the aspiration of our people to push forward reform and development jointly. Chinese Consulate in Mumbai is ready to work with all sectors of the Chinese and Indian communities to promote exchanges and mutual trust and contribute to the return of China-India relations to the right track.

The motherland attaches great importance to the overseas Chinese citizens’ health and safety. The Chinese Consulate in Mumbai earnestly implements the "diplomacy for the people" principle. We distributed the "Health Kits" in batches, organized online health-care lectures, worked overtime to examine and verify the nucleic acid and serum antibody test reports of returnees, assisted the Chinese citizens with difficulties to return home, and went all out for the compatriots. At present, the epidemic situation in India and the consular area is still severe. Everyone of us should be cautious as always, strengthen confidence, promote people-to-people exchanges and mutual learning, and make our own contributions to the China-India relations and the economic and social development of the two countries.

ox is hard-working as well as magical. In both Chinese and Indian cultures, ox symbolizes diligence and courage, as well as victory and auspiciousness. The Year of the Ox is full of expectation. Let the year of bull pull the world ahead and back on track. We hope and believe that in the New Year, China-India relation will overcome various difficulties and get on the right track as well.

Friends, compatriots! On the occasion of the Spring Festival, I wish everyone good health, every family happiness, and all the best for the year of the Ox! I wish the China-India relations and the people of the two countries a smooth and prosperous new year!

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