China on Tuesday highlighted the contributions by Indian friends in helping defeat the Japanese fascists during the World War II.
At a seminar on China-India Cooperation During WWII held at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Chinese Ambassador Le Yucheng said that 70 years ago, a horrible catastrophe engulfed the globe as the fascists launched a brutal war of aggression.
"The war in China, which broke out the earliest and lasted longest, was an important part of the World Anti-Fascist War. And China made great sacrifice and huge contribution to the victory of the War," he said.
The ambassador said China did not fight alone at that time because selfless support from around the world poured in.
"Among all the countries and peoples, the Chinese people will not forget the strong political support that India rendered China since the beginning of Japan's aggression in the 1930s," he said. "We will not forget how Mahatma Gandhi gave his moral support as he said 'my heart goes to the people of China in deep sympathy and in admiration for their heroic struggle and endless sacrifice in the cause of their country's freedom and integrity against tremendous odds."
Ambassador Le also recalled how poet and writer Rabindranath Tagore supported the Chinese people's liberation cause with the power of his pen.
"The Chinese people will not forget that as military allies, Chinese and Indian armies fought shoulder to shoulder against the Fascists, notably in the theater in Myanmar and the Indian army was instrumental in inflicting the most serious land defeat suffered by Japan in the war," he said.
India provided an important base for support materials to be sent into China at a time when many transport lines were cut off.
"Hundreds of thousands of Indian laborers were mobilized to construct these airdromes and roads connecting India and China. Thanks to this route, much-needed medical equipment and other logistic materials were able to reach China and contributed to the final victory," said the ambassador.
He said the Chinese people always remember the Indian medical team who came to China in the most difficult days of the struggle to care for the wounded and save lives, among them Dr. Dwarkanath Kotnis.
"He took root in China and made the ultimate sacrifice. In return, he is respected by a grateful nation and loved by a grateful people," said Le.