Seminar on Hiuen Tsang’s work to strengthen India-China relations

Kolkata, Nov 4 (IANS) Emphasising the importance of the works of Xuan Zang (Hiuen Tsang) in strengthening Indo-China relations, international experts on the 7th century Chinese-Buddhist monk and traveller will explore the philosopher’s role in bringing the two south Asian nations together at a seminar here on November 7, organisers said on Friday.

Organised by Nalanda University in collaboration with the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in Kolkata, the ‘Xuan Zang and China-India Friendly Exchanges’ seminar seeks to enhance the understanding and friendship between China and India and to promote exchange and cooperation between the two countries.

“By holding the seminar, we hope to send two messages. The long history of Sino-Indian friendly relations dwarf the brief time of unpleasantry, and we should bear in mind the big picture instead of focusing only on what happened in a specific year,” Consul General Ma Zhanwu told the media here.

“Secondly, the two countries have shared interests that far outweigh their differences and they can both benefit greatly by working together,” he said.

Speakers from different universities across the world, including Max Deeg from Cardiff University, Wang Banwei from Peking University are expected to attend.

Tsang travelled to many parts of India and did extensive research on Buddhist scriptures and had a wide range of contacts with the local people. His book, “Buddhist Records of the Western World” has helped to discover many Indian relics.

“His translation and introduction of Buddhist scriptures in China impacts the country deeply and even the world”, the envoy said.

The seminar will come up with some ideas on how to strengthen the bilateral relations.

In continuation of bilateral co-operation, the Chinese consulate along with The School of Chinese Language is also set to hold the ‘Chinese Higher Education Expo’ on November 25-26.

“Faculties from 38 varsities across China will be coming for the exhibition and putting up booths at Milan Mela grounds. The exhibition aims to create a platform where the Indian students can explore the possibility of pursuing higher education in China,” said Madan Saraff, president of the school, adding the expo would be the biggest showcase of Chinese varsities in India.

The consulate is also considering working with K.P. Jayaswal Institute, a Bihar-based archaeological institution under the state government, to go for excavations of sites recorded by Tsang in his travelogues.

In addition, the consulate along with the Rotary Club of Calcutta Millennium, will initiate a computer learning centre for underprivileged women in the city this month.

This apart, China which is set to feature as the focus country in the 22nd edition of the Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF), is considering screening Bengali films at Beijing and Shanghai International Film Festivals in their 2017 editions.

“We intend to do that,” Ma Zhanwu said.