"China-India friendship," Chinese premier tells teenagers in India with calligraphy (2)

08:15, December 16, 2010      

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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (2nd L, front) presents Chinese books to students during his visit to Tagore International School in New Delhi, India, Dec. 15, 2010. Wen arrived in New Delhi on Wednesday for an official visit to India. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)

"The introduction of the Chinese language in the curriculum by the CBSE is a very meaningful step, and will give a strong boost to our friendly exchanges," Wen said.

He encouraged the students to study hard, think independently, and serve as envoys for China-India friendship.

When asked by a student whether he knew about Tagore, Premier Wen said the poet, who visited China in 1924 and spent quite a long time in Shanghai, was a household name in China.

The older generation of Chinese literary giants, including Liang Qichao, Bing Xin and Xu Zhimo, were greatly influenced by Tagore, he added.

He noted that Indian President Pratibha Patil visited China in May this year and unveiled a bust of Tagore in Shanghai.

Wen said China-India friendship dated back to 2,000 years ago.

"Our friendship has made significant progress since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1950, and in particular, the last 10 years," he added.

China and India have a combined population of 2.5 billion, said Wen, adding that friendship and cooperation between the two countries will influence Asia and make a global impact.

"It was a great experience to be with the Chinese premier. He was really down to earth and spoke at length with us," said Samin Badra, a 14-year-old student at the school.

Wen offered to provide books, audio and visual materials to the school to help teach Chinese.

The Chinese premier arrived in New Delhi earlier Wednesday for a three-day official visit at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh.
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