NEW DELHI: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday left his audience in splits with his ready wit and lost no opportunity to woo Indians, lending at times personal touches while espousing deeper ties with India.
He not only recalled an earlier trip made by him to India 27 years ago but also quoted Mahatma Gandhi and talked about how Indian songs, dances and yoga were famous in China.
He praised India for the advancement in IT, pharmaceuticals and stressed on the need for India and China to speak in one voice so that the world “will and must listen”.
Li started off his address at an event organised by ICWA and FICCI here with a ‘Namaste’.
Recalling his earlier trip, the Chinese Premier said “In these 27 years, I haven’t had the opportunity to use this (Namaste word)”.
“Twenty seven years ago I visited India and I was deeply impressed by India’s vast territory, time-honoured civilisation as well as hard-working and talented people,” he said adding the fond memories were still fresh in his mind.
Soon after he said this, the sound system went off and made some strange sound for a second or two, leaving everyone amused.
Seizing the opportunity, Li said “so that is a prelude to my remarks,” leaving the audience in splits.
He stressed on the need for India and China to work as regional and global partners and quoted a Chinese proverb – a distant relative may not be as useful as a near neighbour – to emphasise on the relations between the two countries.
He also spoke about the importance of shaking hands over the Himalayas and said it will give a bird’s eye view of bilateral and world affairs.
Li promised to address India’s concern on trade, cross- border rivers and emphasised that both countries have the “wisdom” top solve boundary issue.
“A few clouds in the sky cannot shut out brilliant sun rays, that is our friendship,” he said.
He also underlined that Indian songs, dances and yoga were famous in China like the way Chinese food and kung fu was famous in India.
Li also quoted Mahatma Gandhi and said he “once observed that China and India are fellow travellers sharing… in a common journey”.
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