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|Thursday, January 11, 2001, updated at 10:43(GMT+8)|
Li Meets Relatives of Late Indian Internationalist
Chairman Li of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee arrived here Tuesday for a week-long official goodwill visit.
Kotnis, born in 1910, joined an Indian medical team and went to China to help fight the Japanese invaders in September 1938. As the first director of the (Norman) Bethune International Peace Hospital, Kotnis worked so hard that he fell ill and died of illness in December 1942 at the age of 32.
Li said he was glad to meet Kotnis' next of kin in India, saying that the Chinese nation will always remember those who practiced international humanitarianism when the Chinese waged their fight against the Japanese aggressors.
When Kotnis went to China, he first went to Yan'an, the revolutionary base, and then to the front, Li recalled, adding he himself grew up in Yan'an.
Although Li said he did not meet Kotnis in person, he has always developed a strong intimate feeling towards Kotnis and Bethune, the Canadian internationalist doctor, and kept their names deep in mind.
Li said his current visit is to increase trust and enhance friendship with India and hoped that Kotnis' relatives will contribute further to the Sino-Indian friendly cooperation.
An 81-year old younger brother of Kotnis said both India and China have developed rapidly in recent years, and that he and the next generations of the two nations hope for a long-term friendship. To this end, they will make their due efforts, he added.
Chinese President Jiang Zemin also paid respect to Kotnis and presented gifts to his relatives during his 1996 visit to India.
In the morning, Li and his entourage visited the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India in Mumbai. In the afternoon, Li visited the Santacruz Electronic Exports Processing Zone.
A dinner in Li's honor was given by the governor after the meeting.
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