Beijing, Sept 1 (PTI) China on Tuesday paid rich tributes to former president Pranab Mukherjee, saying he was a veteran statesman and his death is a huge loss for India-China friendship.
The 84-year-old veteran politician died after he suffered a septic shock on Sunday. He died of a cardiac arrest on Monday evening in a hospital in New Delhi following a 21-day battle with multiple ailments.
'Former President Mukherjee was a veteran statesman of India. In his 50 years in politics, he made positive contributions to China-India relations,' Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing here, replying to a question.
Referring to Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to India in 2014 and his meeting with Mukherjee, she said after the meeting the two countries issued a joint statement on building closer development partnership.
'It is a heavy loss for China-India friendship and to India. We express deep condolences over his passing and extend sincere sympathies to the Indian government and his family,' Hua said. PTI KJV SCY