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Drink Tea and Renew Friendship, Open up New Channels forPeople-to-people Exchanges between China and India

On May 21, the first "International Tea Day", Chinese Consulate in Kolkata and India Confederation of Young Leaders jointly held a video conference on the theme of "70th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between China and India". More than 60 people including Consul General Zha Liyou, Chairman of Indian Youth Leaders Federation Mr. Himadrish Suwan, Director General of Henan Foreign Affairs Office Ms. Fu Jing, Deputy Director General of Yunnan Foreign Affairs Office Mr. Yang Shaocheng, Member of Fujian Youth Federation Mr. Cai Wenzhi, Vice General Manager of Fujian Tea Import and Export Co., Ltd. Mr. Wang Dongming, Deputy Director of Xiamen Foreign Affairs Office Ms. Chen Hongying, President of Xiamen Young Entrepreneurs Association Mr. Yan Zhuming, CCTV Chief Reporter in Delhi Mr. Wang Jianbing, Chairman of Indian Tea Association Mr. Vivek Goenka, President of Merchants Chamber of Commerce & Industry Mr. Vishal Jhajharia, Managing-trustee of Rakshak Foundation Ms. Chaitali Das, Founder & President of India Parichay Foundation Ms. Rosalin Mishra and students from Indian Institute of Governance and Leadership.

Consul General Zha Liyou expressed his pleasure to drink tea and meet friends online on International Tea Day in the keynote speech. Both China and India are major tea producers, and the types of tea also have their own characteristics. Tea is not only a beverage, but also represent a culture. The lives of people in China and India are closely connected to the tea culture, which reflects the cultural similarities between the two countries.

Consul General Zha Liyou pointed out this year is the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and India. In this special year, we suffered a sudden attack of COVID 19. China was the first to report the epidemic and respond to this challenge. We tried our best to prevent the epidemic from spreading to the whole country and around the world, which embodied our respect and responsibility to every single life. At present, the Indian people are fighting against the epidemic under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Indian government has taken a series of decisive and strict prevention and control measures which delivered positive outcomes. Our battles against COVID 19 have fully demonstrated the political wisdom of the ancient civilizations of China and India that we put people's lives and health as the top priority. For a long time, China and India are fellow travelers against all odds, pilots in the trends of reform and development, practitioners of mutual learning among civilizations and partners sailing in the same boat. As the only two emerging countries with a population of more than 1 billion in the world, China and India shoulder the historical mission of national rejuvenation, play a leading role in the collective rise of developing countries, and play a pivotal role in world affairs.

Standing at a new starting point, we should carry forward the profound friendship between our two peoples spanning thousands of years, deepen exchanges and mutual learning between the two civilizations, and promote bilateral relations to a new height. First, we must adhere to adhere to strategic guidance given by the leaders. In recent years, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modi have conducted "hometown diplomacy" and reached a series of strategic consensus. We must take practical measures to pass the consensus of the leaders of the two countries to all levels. The second is to resolutely build a community with a shared future for mankind, especially a community of common health. The third is to attract more people to participate in the people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and India. To promote youth, women, media, business representatives, and social leaders to take a look at the other country to deepen mutual understanding and enhance friendship and mutual trust between the two countries. The fourth is to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation so that people of our two countries can really benefit from Sino-Indian cooperation. In the end, Consul General Zha Liyou encouraged friends to be the pave-makers, facilitators and change-makers of China-India relations and make our own contributions to the healthy development of bilateral relations.

Mr. Himadrish Suwan, chairman of Indian Federation of Young Leaders, said the dialogue today reflected the true spirit of the second informal meeting of our two leaders in Chennai last year and was of great significance for celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. He looked forward to working with Chinese Consulate to further promote China-India relations.

Indian friends such as Mr. Goenka, Ms. Das and Ms. Mishra told their “Chinese stories” based on their visiting experiences to China and they believed China and India have a great potential for cooperation, which would not only be conducive to our own development, but also contribute to the welfare of the world. They expressed the willingness to give full play to their roles and contribute to the China-India relations.

The leaders of the Yunnan, Henan, Fujian and Xiamen Foreign Affairs Offices introduced the tea industry in each province and cooperation and exchanges with India. Finally, Henan friends performed how to brew Xinyang Maojian, the most well-known tea in Henan, winning praises from all the participants.

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