Leaders of India and China have exchanged messages of felicitation to mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries today with Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveying to his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang that COVID-19 pandemic was a reminder of the interconnected nature of the world today and there was a need to adopt a truly global response to it.
An External Affairs Ministry release said that messages of felicitation have been exchanged between the Presidents, Prime Ministers and External Affairs Ministers of India and China to mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations on April 1, 2020.
In his message to Li Keqiang, PM Modi said that India and China were two ancient civilizations, with a long history of mutually beneficial exchanges over centuries.
He said good relations between the two countries were important from the perspective of peace, stability, and prosperity of the region and the world.
"Today, we are two large developing countries and emerging economies who are increasingly playing an important role on the global landscape. As such, good relations between India and China are conducive not only for our respective countries but are also important from the perspective of peace, stability and prosperity of our region and the world," the Prime Minister said.
"The COVID-19 pandemic was a reminder to us of the interconnected nature of our world today and the need therefore to adopt a truly global response to it," he added.
PM Modi said he looked forward to working with the Chinese Premier to "further deepen and strengthen our Closer Developmental Partnership and take it to even greater heights in the years to come".
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, in his letter to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, remarked that in the last seven decades India-China relations have expanded substantially and become increasingly diverse and multifaceted.
He added that due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the two sides have been unable to carry out the various activities that had been planned to celebrate this historic anniversary.
"Nonetheless, we should continue to work cooperatively in the coming months and, once we and the world are able to control the COVID-19 outbreak, celebrate this milestone in a manner duly reflective of its significance and the common aspirations of our two peoples," he said.
President Ram Nath Kovind, in his letter to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, conveyed "warm greetings, felicitations, and good wishes" to the government and the people of China, and observed that the two sides have "made considerable progress especially in the last few years in enhancing our bilateral engagement in a number of areas, including political, economic and people-to-people ties".
The ministry said due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, India and China have so far not been able to prepare and carry out the various activities that had been planned to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
"Nevertheless, even as both countries continue to address the challenges posed by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, they remain engaged in discussions on commemorating this historic anniversary in a manner truly reflective of its significance and the common aspirations of their two peoples," it said.
The release said that the two sides are currently working together to jointly design a logo to mark these celebrations.