At the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Professor Shang Quanyu, expert on Gandhi studies and currently the Chinese Dean of the Confucius Institute at the University of Latvia, was invited to New Delhi on May 2, 2018 to attend the first preparatory meeting of the National Committee to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
The National Committee is chaired by the Prime Minister of India and consists of 125 members, of whom 116 are from India. The nine international members include Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-moon, two former UN General Secretaries; South Africa Archbishop; Nobel Prize winner, Desmond Tutu; and former US Vice President Al Gore.
While in New Dehli, Shang met Indian President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Modi. He suggested holding public gatherings in 2019 on themes of world peace, justice and freedom, saying that seminars on Gandhi’s non-violent thoughts could be organized not only in India, but also in China and other countries. Shang also talked about publication of works of Gandhi studies in China.
After the meeting, Shang was interviewed by local media and BBC, during which he reviewed a century's Gandhi studies and the recent developments, showing the influence of Gandhi's thoughts in China.