In a message, read out by his Press Secretary Venu Rajamony during release of the Chinese version of Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha MP Tarun Vijay's book 'An Odyssey in Tibet - a Pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar' at the function at the Rashtrapati Bhavan Auditorium, the President said, "India and China are ancient civilizations with a long history of close contacts between our people."

Mukherjee said he had read the English version, brought out in 2001, and found it to be engaging and interesting.

“The book is an insightful reflection on the sub-conscious philosophy of the Indian pilgrim. Vijay has brought out with sensitivity the range of spiritual experiences a traveller goes through while making the sacred yatra to Mount Kailash and Mansarovar", he added.

The book has been translated into Chinese by the South Asian Study Centre of Sichuan University and will be the first in a series called 'Understanding India'.

Mukherjee said the book would enhance 'mutual comprehension and understanding' between the two neighbours.

Referring to the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping in September, he termed it an important landmark in the development of the strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity between our two countries.

"Both our countries now stand on the threshold of a leap into an exciting phase of global exchange, where harnessing of ideas and resources for global welfare can serve as a major pivot for world peace and welfare," Mukherjee said.

Among others present on the occasion, were Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman  PJ Kurien, Power Minister Piyush Goyal, and Planning Minister Rao Inderjit Singh.

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