Kotnis chosen among top 10 foreign friends of China in past 100 years http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwarkanath_Kotnis BEIJING: Dwarkanath Kotnis, the Indian doctor who treated Chinese soldiers during the Sino-Japan war of 1938 and won the heart of Mao Zedong has been chosen in national poll in China as one of the top ten foreigners who made â€œexceptional contributions to the country in the past 100 years." The Internet poll organized by the China Radio International has the stamp of official approval as Jia Qinglin, chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee, took a direct interest in it. "China cannot develop without the support of foreign friends from various countries, neither can the world proper in the absence of China," Jia was quoted as saying in the official media after the results of the poll was announced. CRI recently feted two sisters of Kotnis, Vatsala (82) and Manorama Kotnis (88), who came from Mumbai to celebrate their brotherâ€™s memory. The official radio also feted relatives of nine others, who have been chosen in the Internet poll. Kotnis died at an early age of 32 after spending four years in China. On his death, Mao Zedong said: "The army has lost a helping hand, the nation has lost a friend. Let us always bear in mind his internationalist spirit.." CRI said a total of 56 million eligible votes had been collected in the voting that took place between August 31 and October 10 as part of the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the Chinese republic. Others chosen in the poll include Norman Bethune, a Canadian doctor who died during the anti-Japanese war in the 1930s for saving Chinese soldiers; John Rabe, a German who rescued thousands of Chinese people during the Nanjing massacre by Japanese soldiers; Juan Antonio Samaranch Toriello, who as honorary president of the International Olympic Committee supported China's bid for the 2008 Olympics; Edgar Snow, an American journalist who wrote the renowned book "Red Star over China" in the 1930s; Dr. Joseph Needham, a British scientist who spent some 50 years writing a milestone masterpiece "Science and Civilization in China". Poland-born Chinese citizen Israel Epstein, New Zealand educator Rewi Alley, Thai princess Maha Chakri Sirindhom and Morihiko Hiramatsu of Japan are also on the list.