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Home > News > Report

We want close ties with India: China

Anand Mohan Sahay in Nalanda | February 12, 2007 19:48 IST

Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing on Monday said his country is in favour of stronger ties with India.

"Let us write a new chapter in Indo-China relations," Li said in Nalanda.

He inaugurated a hall built in memory of the 7th century Chinese traveler Hsuan Tsang in Bihar's Nalanda district.

Li said that he was honoured to be in Nalanda and promised to visit again.

"I will come here on foot the way Hsuan Tsang did," he said.

Li Zhaoxing along with Ven Xue Cheng, vice president and secretary general of the Buddhist Association of China, Ye Xiaowen, administrator of the state administration for religious affairs, and a large contingent of Chinese monks attend the inauguration.

Bihar Governor R S Gavai, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Union Tourism Minister Ambika Soni and Indian Centre for Cultural Relations chairman Karan Singh were also present.

Hsuan Tsang is famous for his 17-year trip to India during which he studied with many noted Buddhist masters, especially at Nalanda. He was a student at Nalanda for five years and taught there for a year.

A team of 26 Chinese engineers, artisans and craftsmen along with an Indian team worked hard for 45 days in Nalanda to give a unique look to memorial hall. 

Last year, the Chinese government deputed master craftsmen, architects and designers for restoration and renovation of the hall, including murals and bell pavilion.

The hall was constructed in 1960 but was not open to the public all these years.