ON THE WEB, 20 May 2013
Li Keqiang: building moderately sound diplomatic and economic ties
From 19 to 21 May 2013, Chinese premier Li Keqiang officially visits India. The relations between China and India could be described as “close”, but they later fell into tension. Currently, the two countries have built moderately sound diplomatic and economic ties thanks to the joint efforts by high levels of both sides, in particular, the huge contributions made by Chinese premiers.
Zhou Enlai: Visiting India four times to get rid of obstacle
After the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, India became the first non-socialist country to establish diplomatic relationship with China. From 1954 to 1960, Chinese premier Zhou Enlai visited India four times, which showed the greatest sincerity of Chinese government to develop bilateral ties and eliminate the obstacle between the two countries — the Tibet issue.
In June 1954, Premier Zhou who was attending a meeting in Geneva visited India for the first time when the meeting adjourned and initiated the famous Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.
Between November 1956 and the beginning of the next year, Zhou met with the Dalai Lama three times in India and warmed him that Indian government had “acknowledged Tibet is part of China”, and “rebellion is not allowed”! Eventually, the Dalai Lama returned to Tibet in February 1957.
Li Peng: China, India resume high-level visits
From 11 to 16 December 1991, Chinese premier Li Peng paid an official goodwill visit to India, which resumed Sino-Indian high-level visits after interruption for decades. Li held talks with former Indian prime minister Narasimha Rao.
During the visit, the two countries signed consular treaty, memorandum on resuming border trade and memorandum of understanding on peaceful use of outer space technology and cooperation. This visit promoted all-round improvement and development of Sino-Indian ties.
Since then, Indian president, the Speaker and Secretary of Defence visited China in succession. Chinese consulate to Mumbai and Indian consulate to China were reopened. And India abolished discriminatory restrictions and regulations for the Chinese people in India.
Li’s visit to India furthered understanding and friendship between both sides and played an important role for China and India to establish a constructive partnership of cooperation facing the 21 century.
Zhu Rongji: Achieving economic and technical cooperation
From 14 to 18 January 2002, Chinese premier Zhu Rongji led a large business delegation to visit India. During the visit, Premier Zhu held talks with former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and met with other India officials as well as elites from all walks of life. China and India signed documents on cooperation in six fields including tourism, peaceful use of outer space, water conservancy, talents exchange, science and technology, and plant quarantine. Zhu also visited Mumbai, India’s largest financial and commercial centre, and Bangalore, the well-known Silicon Valley, to strengthen Sino-India cooperation in trade, science and technology.
There is a general view in the two countries that Indian people have many misunderstandings of China. But Zhu’s successful visit to India has greatly changed people’s views about China.
Wen Jiabao: Establishment of strategic partnership
During 9 to 12 April 2005, Chinese premier Wen Jiabao paid a four-day official visit to India. China and India singed Joint Statement of the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of India and announced the establishment of strategic partnership. The both sides also reached political guiding principle agreement on border issues. All the mainstream media in India highlighted Wen’s remarks “China and India are not rivals, but friends” almost at the same time.
China and India signed a Joint Statement of the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of India, announcing the establishment of the strategic partnership and the agreement on political guiding principles on border issues.
Five years later, on 15 December 2010, Wen visited India again and held talks with Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh. Both sides signed a joint statement and announced the establishment of Sino-Indian strategic partnership for peace and prosperity. They also confirmed a series of consensus on expanding mutual beneficial cooperation in various fields.