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A warm Indian welcome to a neighbor

By KIyer (blog.chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2014-09-16 18:20

One of the very best compliments that a country and culture can get was from Hu Shih, an ambassador of the Republic of China to the USA.

Here is what he said - "India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border."

Such a tribute to the relationship between the two countries is so rare in this world. It speaks volumes of the long, long duration of the kinds of links, the regard and respect the two peoples have for each other, much longer than a human life span or two.

It speaks of neighborliness, the conquests of hearts and minds by inspiration, example and a way of life. It speaks of the esteem the people hold each other in and their maintaining it beyond the day-to-day events, over thousands of years.

I was blown away when I first saw this quote. It indicated a person who had studied the history, given in thought and gave a statement that indicated the wisdom and friendliness of the souls of the two nations.

The current visit of President Xi Jinping is a good time for India to return the compliment, from the heart.

Today, China has conquered the hearts and minds of peoples around the world, including Indians. It has started to bring about a change in the mindset of people, how we view each other and even ourselves. The future of India will be dominated more by the Chinese way of thinking than any other way.

Indians have come together, recently, shedding all divisions of religion, regions and other petty interests to elect a government that draws inspiration from the Chinese model of development - unleashing the productive power of its people in working hard and building up a strong confident nation that sends out opportunity and prosperity to all those that interact with it. Indians admire and aspire to have a nation of shining cities, built up by hardworking, innovative people, looking out for the poorest and weakest even with what they have and having the confidence to look at the outer world with justifiable pride.

There is a growing awareness and wisdom sweeping across Asia, to put the artificially created tangles and thorns of the past aside. There is a great drive from the people for their leaders to provide policies that put their interests first, to prosper, to live in a friendly, productive and prosperous neighborhood.

I am confident that in the future, there will be an Indian who will return the compliment that Hu Shih gave to India. It should not take another 20 centuries to do that. It will come much sooner!

India will welcome the visiting head of a friendly, good, neighboring family. I hope it is a traditional Indian welcome - the way we welcome friends and neighbors. I hope they 'bring out the best China'! (Sorry! Could not resist the pun!)

A warm welcome awaits President Xi Jinping and other Chinese accompanying him. Our doors should always be open in welcome to our neighbors.

The original blog is: http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/blog-1175065-22478.html

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