Significance of India-China Friendship in the present National and Global Context

Panchsheel friendship award being received in Delhi  by Dr.M.Mohan Reddy  and V.Bhaskaran of ICFA  from Chinese president xi jinping during his visit to India in 2014

(India-China Friendship Association (ICFA) held its National Conference on 14th and 15th October, 2023 at Hyderabad. We are publishing here the Main Theme of the Conference – ‘Significance of India China Friendship in the present National and Global Context’–  introduced by Dr. Mohan Reddy, all India General Secretary of ICFA, in the Conference on 14th October).

National Conference of India-China Friendship Association at Hyderabad

Main Theme of the Conference:

During the G 20 presidency, Prime Minister Shri Narender Modi declared that India would be a Voice of the Global South.  On his 75th Independence Day speech, he further declared that India shall become a developed country, by 2047, the centenary year of our Independence.  In this background, we decided to discuss the main theme – Significance of India China friendship in the present national and global context – in particular relation to these two objectives, that is, India being a Voice of Global South and India rising as a developed country by 2047.

Firstly, let us discuss the significance of India China friendship in relation to the objective of being the Voice of the Global South.

The world today is very complex and is in great turmoil.  While, on one side, pandemic on a global scale has shaken the world and taken its toll, on the other side climate change and the resultant problems are haunting the mankind.  While a handful of developed western countries with abundant riches lie on one side, a vast majority of countries with under development, backwardness and at various stages of development lie on the on other side of the global divide. Though the developed world and its people too have their ow n problems, the countries and people of the less developed side of the globe, popularly being called as Global South, are plagued with poverty, hunger, disease, misery and backwardness.

Regional wars and dangers of war are being spread in different parts of the world; while the other parts of the world are facing the burden of these wars. The big and hegemonic powers are busy with their geo-political strategies of forming small blocs, throwing the world into further chaos and turbulence.

At the same time, the world today is at a great historic turning point. On one side the collective west is in deep decline with unending systemic crisis. The ranting by them about the so called rules based international order, which is nothing but an order based on the rules set by the hegemonic super power, is coming into question from all corners and they dictating the terms for entire world is becoming impossible for them day by day. USA, the sole superpower is no more in a position to sway over the world with its deceptive lies, like what it did before waging the aggressive wars on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and etc. The world is now in a much better position to see through its mischievous agendas as in the case of Ukraine. Most countries of the world except for few of its lackeys have blamed the NATO expansion as the real reason behind the devastating conflict.

US is now not in a position to enlist support even from its supposedly loyal subordinate countries, the likes of Saudi Arabia for its global hegemonic agenda. USA, the sole super power is in a quandary. It looks it is putting all out last ditch efforts like dying empire acting in desperation and causing havoc all over, unmindful of the consequences.

On the other side, the backward and developing countries popularly referred to as Global South with China being at the centre are increasingly asserting their independence and moving with a resolve to act in solidarity and establish a new, fair, just, equitable, inclusive and non-discriminatory international order in place of the world order based on exploitation and hegemonic agenda. The decisions and declarations of the recently held Summits of the countries of BRICS and G20, particularly the expansion of BRICS and the admission of African Union into G20, are indications of this important international phenomena and a brewing new world order.

Sensing threat for its imperial rule from the emerging and ever asserting developing countries and growing China’s influence on them, US superpower is trying to divide the world in various ways to perpetuate it’s supremacy over the globe. It is desperately trying to block the transformational changes that are happening and creating a kind of New Cold War situation by forming small blocks world over with its allies. 

In this scenario what is that Indian Government is doing? As a country, what is that we should do? These are the concerns we are interested in.

Holding the 1st Democracy Summit in 2021 US President Joe Biden called the moment an “inflection point in history” and proposed the dubious concept of Democracies Vs Autocracies. It is obvious when US is trying to divide the world on ideological basis, India jumped in to the band wagon of western democracies telling that our interests are aligned with the West. And when US brought forward its Indo-Pacific strategy in the name of ensuring the so called free and open seas to rally the countries around to encircle China, India is actively partnering with it.

US is also forming various dubious blocks like the QUAD, I2U2 and AUKUS, all in the name of countering “China’s threat”. India is a member of the first two blocks. The recently announced IMEC during the G20 summit is also a part of this.  These are not welcomed by the countries of the developing world except for the very few allies and lackeys of US superpower. But India is actively partnering with superpower’s geopolitical strategy by proactively participating in all the US led blocks, summits and even participating in the joint military exercises.

All these mischievous agendas are meant to counter China and derail its initiatives like Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Global Security Initiative (GSI), Global Development Initiative (GDI) and Global Cultural Initiative (GCI) which are attracting overwhelming support from the countries of Global South. India and China, though big in size and economy, also belong to the broad group of Global South. India has pledged to be the Voice of Global South, but when it comes to actions it is joining the North and echoing their mischievous propaganda like the so called China’s Money Bag diplomacy, Supply chain colonialism and China’s Debt Trap etc. When India organized the “Voice of Global South Summit” in January 2023, it did not invite China, in tune with the super power’s attempts to isolate Chinas from the Global South. This is nothing but carrying forward the job entrusted to it by the US superpower to divide and weaken the resurgent Global South. Surely India’s actions are not matching with its words.

We have to represent the voice of the people of our country and our nation’s interests. We know our country’s interests are naturally aligned to the Global South and not to the North as the rulers of the country say and are aligning in with. Global South is overwhelmingly looking towards China for seizing the lost opportunities for development. They are seeing a reliable friend with formidable strength in China for their development. They all are joining in a big way in all the un-exploitative, co-operative and win-win Initiatives offered by China.

As the weak and developing countries of Global South are trying to come out of the clutches of Imperialist and hegemonic powers, India’s attempts to become the leader of the Global South while continuing its partnership with the super power’s geo-political agenda will be seen with suspicion by the Global South and it will go against the interests of the Global South. Hence, to be a real voice of the Global South, all the above mentioned policies and practices of the Indian government that are against the interests of the Global South should be accordingly changed.

Now let us discuss the significance of India China friendship in relation to India’s aspiration to develop as a developed country by 2047

India aspires to become a developed country by the year 2047. With $3.5 trillion economy, today  it  is the 5th largest, hoping to take the 3rd place in near future.

In spite of this development the country has achieved so far, the country is lagging well behind in relation to feeding its people; in providing education and employment to all; in developing skills needed to rise with the ever increasing technological advancements; in providing clothing, shelter and other day to day minimum needs of the people – to put it in a nutshell in providing a healthy and dignified life to the people. In view of this stalk reality, the objective set be Prime Minister in his speech, becomes more stupendous, but at the same time, it is imperative of the times and the needs of our people that we should, as a country march ahead unitedly with determination to achieve the said objective.

Peace and peaceful atmosphere both in the region and the world at large are imperative for any nation to develop and prosper. Unfortunately, this is one important component that is lacking for our country since Independence and is an important reason for the country to lag behind in development. Achieving peace and peaceful atmosphere should be the corner stone of the policies of the government of any nation to develop and prosper. Unfortunately, this was and is lacking in the minds of the policy framers of our country. Books writen by many in the country help us to understand this. For example, the head of the history department for over 30 years of the external affairs department of India has elaborately narrated (in his book “Nehru, Tibet and China”) the way the first Prime Minister of India mishandled the situation in resolving the border disputes with China. Based on all official records, he concluded that the claims Nehru made with eastern and western sectors of our borders with China, the same claims being continued by successive governments till today, have no justification of what so ever. There are ample studies published in the country (and also outside) that show that the “Forward Policy” advocated and implemented by Nehru based on these unilateral claims led to clashes and war with China, destroying peace and burdening the country’s economy. All these decades, the same claims and same Forward Policy is in vogue in our country, thus becoming the cause of destroying peace at the borders. All this needs to be reviewed and recalibrated so as to meet the needs of establishing peace at borders and to release the blocked resources, both financial and human, in building the war economy over the years.

No country can develop in isolation in this era of globalization and multilateralism and proper use of this favorable situation is an inevitable need for any country to develop and achieve its objects. The world history and the experiences of the developing countries in the present day world go to prove this beyond doubt.

The policies and decisions obstructing trade and business with China by our country should be reviewed with this perspective.  What purpose will be served with the policy that normal relations with China will not be possible unless the situation at the borders doesn’t become normal? Who is loosing with this policy? Obstructing Chinese capital and technology from coming into the country – all in the name of security concerns; obstructing the normal growth of trade and business with China – all these are proving detrimental to our development and growth. It is to be noted that all figures show that in spite of these political obstacles, the trade with China is increasing instead of decreasing with every passing day. Many industrial houses, including the top most houses in the country, are favouring for all round development of trade and business with China. This, along with the ever increasing trade and business overcoming the official obstructions, prove beyond doubt that our country’s and people’s interests demand an unhindered growth in trade and business with China.  Hence all such policies which are hindering the development of trade and business with China should be reviewed and changed.

The ICFA puts forward the following demands before the countrymen so as to demand the powers at be, to achieve them:

1) Friendship with China should be replaced as the cornerstone of our foreign policy in place of the present policy of enmity with China.

2) An independent foreign policy is the need of the hour in place of the present policy of subservience to the big powers, particularly the US super power.

3) Much proclaimed India’s “Voice of Global South” should be matched with actions through real and true cooperation with the countries of the Global South.

4) India should come out of “Quad” and all such anti-China groupings formed by the US super power; should come of the “Indo-Pacific Strategy” of the US super power; should oppose the cold war being launched and waged by the super power against China.

5) Unilateral claims and assertions regarding borders with China; “Forward Policy” and actions based on it – all initiated by Nehru and continued by successive governments to this day should be discarded here and now. Borders problems with China should be solved through mutually agreed political settlement on the basis of give and take. 1962 Parliament resolution should be scrapped; Dalai Lama should be sent away from the country.

6) While putting all efforts to come to a mutually agreed settlement on borders, pending its final settlement, complete normal relations and full-fledged friendship with China should be established.

7) Trade and business with China should be developed to their full potential; all restrictions and prohibitions, declared and undeclared, on Chinese goods, Apps, capital, industries, technology and etc. should be discarded.

8) All vicious propaganda against China should be stopped. All vengeful attacks on Chinese businesses in India should be stopped; all repressive measures and attacks showing China as an alibi should be stopped, here and now.

( This article was presented as the Main Theme of the of ICFA all India Conference: The author  Dr. M Mohan Reddy was elected as the all India General Secretary of India-China Friendship Association (ICFA) that held its National Conference on 14th and 15th October, 2023 at Hyderabad. He is a renowned doctor, Chairman, Nova ENT Head & Neck Hospital, Hyderabad. He is also a Board Member, of IWGEES, International  Working Group on Endoscopic Ear Surgery. He visited China several times, headed and hosted medical delegations that had bilateral exchange programs in both countries.Dr S. Jatin kumar, well-known to counter, is his close Associate in ICFA.)   

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