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Consul General Ma Zhanwu Addresses Rotarians in Kolkata, India

Mr. Ma Zhanwu, Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Kolkata, gave a speech on the topic of "Peace and Understanding" at the district conference "Prerona" of Rotary International District 3291 held at Heritage Place, Kolkata, West Bengal, India on 6 January 2018. Over 300 local rotarians, who are mostly business leaders and professionals, were present in the audience.

The Consul General told the rotarians that regional conflicts and wars are affecting people throughout the globe, including those present, although there is no major war in the world today. Peace is like air to humans and will be felt and valued when it is lost, and so all countries need to work to safeguard and promote peace. The Chinese people suffered countless miseries in the wars in their modern history and cherish peace dearly and have made it the purpose of China's foreign policy to safeguard world peace and promote common development.

He stated that the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which was convened in Beijing in October 2017, once again emphasized the importance of safeguarding world peace and decided that China shall continue the path of peaceful development and work to build a new type of international relations and a community with shared future for mankind. It will work with all other countries in the world to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity.

Mr. Ma continued to say that, as countries with a long history and ancient civilizations, China and India contributed to the development of the ancient Silk Road. And the essence of the Silk Road spirit is peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit. This spirit has provided the world with an inspiration in their effort to maintain and promote peace, and China has offered its solutions. Five years ago, President Xi Jinping of China proposed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), aimed at strengthening friendship and cooperation in the areas along the ancient Silk Road and the maritime routes comparable to the Silk Road. BRI follows the principle of extensive consultations, joint development and shared benefits, and its content includes policy coordination, connectivity of infrastructure and facilities, unimpeded trade, financial integration, and strengthened people-to-people exchanges. BRI has provided a platform and opportunity for countries in these areas to strengthen cooperation to realize peace and development and to build a community with a shared future for mankind in the coming years and decades.

Citing the big proportion of the Chinese and Indian populations in the world's total, Mr. Ma believed that the two great nations would contribute greatly to the world peace by enhancing their mutual trust and cooperation and pushing forward the bilateral relationship, which would conform with their respective interests as their common ground far outweighs their differences.

The Chinese diplomat also interacted with the audience and urged them to take advantage of their roles as opinion leaders in their respective circles and contribute to development of China-India relations and to the world peace.

The rotarians expressed their appreciation of Mr. Ma's remarks and said they would be happy to work for friendly exchanges and cooperation between India and China and to contribute to the world peace.

Vice Consul Shi Lijun with the Chinese Consulate attended the above event.

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