Speeches/Statements Ambassador’s Remarks at the Inauguration of India Week in Wuhan on 29 April 2019

Ambassador’s Remarks at the Inauguration of India Week in Wuhan on 29 April 2019

Ambassador’s Remarks at the Inauguration of India Week in Wuhan on 29 April 2019

Mr. Chen Xiexin, Deputy Mayor of Wuhan,

Other Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Da Jia Hao!

1. A very warm welcome to all of you for the inauguration of the India Week in Wuhan, which has been aptly titled the “Colours of India”.

2. India is a land of rich diversity, with each region having its own distinct culture and traditions. Through this week-long event we hope to bring to Chinese audience a slice of the unique experiences India has to offer. India is often seen as land of spirituality and mysticism. It is that, and much more!

3. The Colours of India event will showcase the very best of Indian art and culture. There will be dance performances, Bollywood movie screenings, photography exhibitions as well as tourism and business promotion events. I hope you are active and enthusiastic participants at all of these events.

4. It was exactly a year ago, when Prime Minister Modi and President Xi Jinping met in this very city for the first ever Informal Summit between our two leaders. The meeting was a landmark event in the history of India-China bilateral ties, and the “Wuhan spirit” has permeated all aspects of our engagements since then.

5. At the Wuhan Summit, our two leaders were in agreement that people-to- people exchanges between India and China needed to be strengthened to deepen mutual friendship and understanding. In this context, a High Level Meeting co-chaired by India’s External Affairs Minister Madam Sushma Swaraj and State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China Mr. Wang Yi was held in New Delhi in December last year, dedicated to strengthening people-to-people exchanges and cultural contacts.

6. I am happy to note that Hubei province and Wuhan city have been at the forefront of this renewed focus on strengthening the bonds of friendship between our two countries. Our Tourism Minister-led roadshow to Wuhan in August 2018 saw enthusiastic participation by local companies. A delegation from the state of Madhya Pradesh in central India participated at the Global Production Capacity Forum in October 2018, and just earlier this month Executive Vice Governor of Hubei, H.E. Mr. Huang Chuping was warmly received in India. The Hubei Provincial Museum is also exploring cooperation with the National Museum of New Delhi. It is thus a fitting tribute that we return to Wuhan a year since the Informal Summit for this week-long festival that will bring the colours of India to Wuhan.

7. I have no doubt that the festival will capture your imagination and leave you enamored with the thought of visiting “Incredible India”. Therefore, this is a good platform to remind all of you that getting a visa to visit India is easier than it has ever been before. You can apply for an e-Visa online from the comfort of your own home. In fact you do it on your phones from right here, as I speak! No visits to our embassy are necessary, and an electronic visa will be issued to you within 3-4 days. I encourage all of you to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to visit India.

8. India’s engagement with Wuhan city is set to be further strengthened in the coming months. India will be represented at the World Stamp Exhibition in June 2019 by India Post. In the same month, it is proposed to have a grand celebration of the International Yoga Day at Wuhan’s iconic Yellow Crane Tower. I hope you will all participate enthusiastically at these upcoming events well.

9. Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Wuhan Municipal Government, especially its Foreign Affairs Office and its Culture and Tourism Bureau, for co-organizing this wonderful event in your beautiful city. I also wish to acknowledge the efforts of the China Arts Association and the support of the Hubei provincial government towards making this event a grand success!

10. I am sure you will all enjoy this inaugural programme, as well as what we have lined up for you over the course of this week. Thank you, Xie Xie!