China holds Dr Kotnis in very high regard as he was one of the five Indian physicians who had provided medical assistance during the second Sino-Japanese war in 1938.
During the special meeting with the Indian doctor’s family, Premier Li recollected the contribution of Kotnis and said that the Indo-Chinese friendship has been strengthened by the contribution of late Dr Kotnis.
Landing in China as part of Indian Medical Mission Team, Kotnis, tirelessly served the soldiers battling the enemy and a devastating plague that swept the country, sometimes working for three days at a stretch.
Strenuous demands of work on the frontline left the Maharashtra-born Kotnis debilitated and exhausted and the venerated doctor died of epilepsy on December 9, 1942 at the young age of 32. He was buried in the Heroes Courtyard, at Nanquan village.
The Chinese commemorated the memory of Dr Kotnis with a statue in the Martyr’s Memorial Park in Shijiazhuang, in Hebei province.