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Top Chinese Indologist dead

Renowned Chinese scholar Ji Xianlin, who translated major Indian classics like the Ramayana, Shakuntalam and the Panchatantra into Chinese language and made them popular in Beijing, has died. He was 98.

world Updated: Jul 20, 2009 21:15 IST

Renowned Chinese scholar Ji Xianlin, who translated major Indian classics like the Ramayana, Shakuntalam and the Panchatantra into Chinese language and made them popular in Beijing, has died. He was 98.

Ji was honoured with Padma Bhushan by India last year for his contribution to the promotion of bilateral ties.

Chinese leaders including Premier Wen Jiabao and other members of the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the ruling Communist Party of China attended the cremation ceremony held in Beijing on Sunday.

Other top leaders as Chinese President Hu Jintao and former President Jiang Zemin expressed their condolences, Xinhua news agency reported.

Ji, the renowned indologist, scholar, paleographer and historian was well-versed in 12 foreign languages. He served as a professor with the oriental studies department of the prestigious Peking University from 1946 to 1983.

He also served as deputy president of the university between 1978 and 1984.

Then External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee had handed over the Padma Bhushan citation to Professor Ji in June last year at a Beijing hospital.

Through his works, Ji had inspired a love for Indian culture among generations of Chinese students and scholars.