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In PHOTOS: A night to remember for 'old friends'

Last updated on: December 17, 2010 00:51 IST

A night to remember for 'old friends'

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Chinese folk dance fused with Kathak to create a cultural synergy on Thursday night leaving the audience spellbound at a glittering function in New Delhi to celebrate 60 years of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two Asian giants.

As curtains came down on the year-long celebrations, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao pledged to strengthen ties between the two countries and march together in the 21st century as "friends not as rivals."

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Image: Chinese artists perform during the closing ceremony and gala performance in celebration of the 60th anniversary of establishment of India-China diplomatic relations
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters
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The refurbished weightlifting arena of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium reverberated with Indian and Chinese folk and film songs as artistes from both the countries captivated the 3,000-strong audience that included Singh and Wen.

'Jai ho', the Oscar-winning number of A R Rahman, was performed by a group of eight Indian and Chinese artistes using guitar, keyboard and tabla. The performance that lasted for five minutes was lapped up by continuous applause by the audience.

A ball-juggling performance by a Chinese acrobatic troupe was mind blowing as the artiste went up and down the ladder with a couple of balls in his hand.



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Popular Chinese paper-cut dance performed by women and Magic Oriental Charm from the Chinese side and a 'Song and Dance to the Motherland' by Indian artists were equally enthralling.

The message of Sino-India friendship was visible everywhere at the stadium with a giant podium dotting the flags of both countries.

Dancers from Beijing Dance Academy and folk artistes from Fujian swayed in synergy with Kathak dancers from Pandit Birju Maharaj institute.

There was also a performance by violinist Anupriya Dotale accompanied by Ustad Akram Khan on the tabla.



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'Dance Lotus of June' was performed after the intermission followed by the song 'Ode to the Moon' by Chinese artists. Acrobatics juggling bowls on the head integrated into a festal melody of the 'Bumper Harvest' dance.

Addressing the gathering, Wen said: "Heart-to-heart exchanges between the two countries will help in further boosting the ties between China and India.

"The outcome of my visit has been successful. We can say that an Asian century has arrived," he said.

"We must close the information gap between the two countries and know about each country's development on our own rather than through third countries," Dr Singh said.



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The Chinese Premier said, "Hospitable Chinese people will receive you with open arms." He said the festivities organised by the two countries have achieved "full success" and wished all Indians a very happy new year.

Wen said in future the two countries should carry forward their work in the crucial stage of development and needed to press for a just and equitable international political and economic order.

Dr Singh, on his part, hoped that the New Year will bring joy and happiness to Chinese people and will serve as an occasion for further advancement of friendly relations between India and China.



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Dr Singh said he was happy that there was convergence of views to widen and deepen and to further take multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries.

"Universally, it has been acknowledged that 21st century is Asian century. In the 21st century, India and China will march together as friends and not as rivals," he said.

Expressing satisfaction over his talks with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao, Dr Singh also appreciated his "personal role" in advocating the need for strengthening the strategic partnership between the two countries.



Photographs: PIB
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"This has laid the ground work for the future India-China relations," Dr Singh said, adding that India-China cooperation will be the keystone of the "Asian century that is unfolding before us."

Wen said one can now say that the 21st century has arrived and it will be an Asian century, a point endorsed by Dr Singh in his speech later.

Dr Singh said he was happy that there was convergence of views to widen and deepen and to further take multi-faceted cooperation between the two countries.

While Dr Singh called Wen 'a very dear friend of mine', the Chinese Premier said his Indian counterpart was his 'old friend'.


Photographs: PIB
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The Festival of India in China was inaugurated at the prestigious auditorium situated within the grounds of the historical Forbidden City.

The opening Event was a Theatre Presentation "Uttar Priyadarshi" based on the life of emperor Ashoka and choreographed by the eminent theatre director Ratan Thiyam.

The remaining months of the Festival witnessed a series of carefully chosen presentations of various Indian dance and music forms by eminent artistes.



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A 160-member Buddhist orchestra group, Shenzhen Symphonic Orchestra had earlier performed 'Harmony of the Divine Land' (a symphony of Chinese Buddhist music) at the inaugural event of the Festival of China in India in April.

With this, the festival part of the year-long celebrations to commemorate 60 years of establishment of diplomatic ties between India and China came to a close.

The festival was organised in India by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the Embassy of China in New Delhi.



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External Affairs Minister S M Krishna had kicked-off the year-long celebration of Indian culture in China during his Beijing visit in April.

The year-long "Festival of India" was organised by the government of India in several Chinese cities to celebrate six decades of diplomatic relations.

A joint declaration was signed between India and China on November 21 to celebrate the establishment of 60 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries with a Festival of India in China and a Festival of China in India.



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