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Friday, June 02, 2000, updated at 09:18(GMT+8)

Feature: May Sino-Indian Friendship Develop From Generation to Generation

An 84-year-old Chinese woman still keeps her husband in mind, though he, an Indian doctor, died some 58 years ago.

Dwarkanath Kotnis joined an Indian medical team and came to China in 1938 when he was only 28 to help China to fight against the Japanese invasion.

"He cherished our love, and was very considerate. He took good care of me," said Guo Qinglan, speaking with Indian President Kocheril Narayanan at his home today in the port city of Dalian in northeast China.

Wearing traditional Indian clothing with a badge of Kotnis's portrait pinned on her dress, Guo said the dress means that she used to be a wife of an Indian.

"The age of 84 is something special in China, and maybe I will go to the heaven," she joked in English to the president. Guo studied at an American church school and served as a nurse in a hospital in Beijing.

Kotnis, who worked in an Eight Route Army hospital as a surgeon and head of the Bethune Hospital afterwards, joined the Communist Party of China in 1942.

They fell in love and got married in Jinchaji in north China, a liberated area. And they gave their son the name Yinhua which means India and China.

"He was vivacious, and liked singing. He spoke fluent Chinese, and sometimes I couldn't help laughing when he told me a joke," said Guo, recalling Kotnis.

Guo and 16-year-old Yinhua went to the home town of Kotnis in 1958, where they planted a tree to commemorate Kotnis. Yinhua died of medical mistreatment nine years later.

Guo remarried a Chinese after Kotnis' death in 1942. They have a son and a daughter.

Narayanan first met Guo when he was Indian ambassador to China in the 1970s. Meeting Guo again after almost three decades, he said he sincerely hoped that he will be able to see Guo again. "I really hope so, but I am old, " said smiling Guo, who presented two books about Kotnis to the president.

Guo visited Kotnis' family in India four times. "The whole family is very nice, and treat me warmly," she told reporters.

"I love both China and India. I hope that Sino-Indian friendship will develop from generation to generation," she said.

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An 84-year-old Chinese woman still keeps her husband in mind, though he, an Indian doctor, died some 58 years ago.

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