Chinese linguist Ji Xianlin. Indian
Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee awarded a national prize to Chinese
linguist Ji Xianlin on Friday to honor his outstanding contribution to
China-India cultural exchanges. (Xinhua file Photo)
BEIJING, June 6 (Xinhua) -- Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee awarded a
national prize to Chinese linguist Ji Xianlin on Friday to honor his outstanding
contribution to China-India cultural exchanges.
Ji, born in 1911, has contributed significantly to
the research on ancient Indian aboriginal languages, primeval Buddhist languages
and Sanskritic literature. He also translated works on ancient Indian and
primeval Buddhist languages.
"I am greatly honored to award the prize to you on
behalf of our president," Mukherjee told Ji at the Beijing-based General
Hospital of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, where Ji has resided for five
He praised Ji's research over the years on Indian
literature and his great contribution to strengthening India-China friendship.
The Padma Award is the highest award of the Indian
government for those who make remarkable achievements in the areas of science,
arts, literature and learning.
Mukherjee pinned the prize medal on Ji's shirt and
gave him a prize scroll.
"I'll be 100 years old in two years, but I believe it
is a starting point rather than an ending," Ji told Mukherjee.
"As long as I still have energy, I will continue to
commit myself to strengthening the friendship between the two great countries
and civilizations," he added.
Ji stressed China-India friendship concerned the
whole world. "The deeper their friendship is, the more it benefits people of the
It was Mukherjee's first visit to China since he took
up his post. During his four-day stay, he held talks with Chinese Foreign
Minister Yang Jiechi, and delivered a speech at Beijing University.
He also attended the opening ceremony of the India
consulate in southern China's Guangzhou province.