China-India joint medical team to be set up

By Xinhua

Beijing : A China-India joint medical team will be set up during Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit next week, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said here Tuesday.

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Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and Dr Manmohan Singh will attend the ceremony marking the establishment of the medical team, ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu said.

The establishment of the joint medical team is to commemorate the 70th anniversary of an Indian medical mission that came to China to provide medical services to the Chinese people during their war of resistance against Japanese aggression in the late 1930s.

Jiang said the Chinese People’s Association For Friendship With Foreign Countries and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations would select 20 young doctors, 10 from each country, to form the team.

The doctors will provide free medical treatment and conduct charitable activities in the two countries to carry forward the spirit of international humanitarianism of the Indian medical team, and deepening the friendship and mutual understanding of Chinese and Indian peoples.

A five-member Indian medical team came to China in 1938 to help the Chinese in the war of resistance against Japanese aggression. One of the Indian doctors, Dwarkanath S. Kotnis, is remembered in China for his selfless and untiring support to the Chinese people.

Kotnis died of illness on Dec 9, 1942 at the age of 32. A memorial hall was built in Baoding, north China’s Hebei province, in commemoration of Kotnis and Norman Bethune, another devoted Canadian doctor who worked in China.

Singh will pay an official visit to China Jan 13-15.