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Indo-China political relations

The visit of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to China in December 1988 was a landmark in India-China relations.

india Updated: Nov 15, 2006 13:22 IST

India was one of the earliest countries, the second in the non-socialist world and the first in South Asia to recognise the People's Republic of China (PRC).

The two countries established diplomatic relations on April 1, 1950.

Premier Zhou Enlai visited India in June 1954.

Prime Minister JL Nehru visited China in October 1954. In the same year, India and China evolved the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence.

The circumstances leading to the war of 1962 led to a serious setback in bilateral relations. Nevertheless, India and China restored ambassadorial relations in 1976.

In 1979, the then External Affairs Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee made a path-breaking visit to China, which lead to the renewal of contacts at the highest political level after two decades.

Chinese Foreign Minister Huang Hua made a return visit to India in 1981.

The visit of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to China in December 1988 was a landmark in India-China relations.

It marked the resumption of political dialogue at the highest level after an interregnum of 28 years.Both sides agreed to develop and expand bilateral relations in every field.

It was also agreed to establish a Joint Working Group (JWG) on the Boundary question to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution.

Besides the JWG (on the border issue) and the Joint Economic Group (JEG) (on economic and commercial issues), there are bilateral exchanges in science and technology, outer space, mining, audit, defence, personnel and culture.

Relations have improved steadily after 1988.High-level exchanges provided the necessary impetus to the growth of long-term good neighbourly relations.

Premier Li Peng visited India in December 1991. Prime Minister Narasimha Rao visited China in September 1993.

The Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the India-China Border Area was signed along with other Agreements.

There have been a series of high level visits since then. President R Venkataraman paid a state visit to China in May 1992, Vice President KR Narayanan in October 1994.

From the Chinese side, CPPCC Chairman Li Ruihuan visited India in December 1993, then NPC Chairman Qiao Shi in November 1995, and Politburo Standing Committee member Wei Jianxing in December 1997.

President Jiang Zemin's state visit to India in November 1996 was the first by a Chinese Head of State.

During his visit, the two countries agreed to work towards a constructive and cooperative relationship while continuing to address outstanding differences.

Four Agreements were signed, of which the most important was one on Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) in the military field along the LAC in the India-China Border Areas.

Bilateral relations suffered a setback after our nuclear tests in May 1998.

In early 1999, both countries made efforts to resume official level dialogue, with Foreign Ministers of both sides holding talks in February, 1999.

External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh visited China in June, 1999. Both sides reiterated that neither country is a threat to the other.

Commerce and Industry Minister Murasoli Maran visited China in February 2000 during which an India-China Bilateral Agreement for China's Accession to the WTO was signed.

India and China jointly commemorated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations on April 1, 2000 through a number of functions held in both New Delhi and Beijing.

President KR Narayanan visited China in May-June 2000. This was the second visit by an Indian Head of State in the last 50 years and was significant as it marked a complete return to normalcy in bilateral relations.

The two Presidents held official talks and also attended a musical concert held to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.

In January 2001, the Chairman of China's NPC Standing Committee Li Peng paid a nine-day visit to India and held talks with our President, Vice President, Prime Minister, Speaker of Lok Sabha and Deputy Chairperson of Rajya Sabha.

The Guangdong Party Secretary and Politburo Member Li Changchun led a business delegation to India in May 2001 during which he met our President and EAM.

Deputy Chairperson of Rajya Sabha, Dr Najma Heptulla led a combined delegation of Parliamentarians, businessmen and trade union leaders to China in July, 2001.

Premier Zhu Rongji visited India in 2002, accompanied by a high-level delegation, which included the Minister for Labour & Social Security, Zhang Zuoji and MOFTEC Minister, Shi Guangsheng.

Premier Zhu called on the President and Vice President and held talks with Prime Minister.

He also met the Speaker of Lok Sabha, the External Affairs Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.

Six MOUs/Agreements were signed during the visit on cooperation in tourism, provision of hydrological data by China to India, peaceful uses of outer space, science & technology (2) and phyto-sanitary measures.

Jaswant Singh, External Affairs Minister visited China from March 29 to April 2, 2002 ; visiting Beijing and Shanghai.

He met Premier Zhu Rongji, Vice Premier Qian Qichen and had talks with Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan.

A dialogue architecture instituting regular meetings at various levels was agreed to during the visit.

The second meeting of the India-China Eminent Persons Group was held in Beijing from May 28-29, 2002.

Speaker of Lok Sabha, Manohar Joshi visited China from January 5- 10, 2003. He visited Beijing and Shanghai.

Honourable Speaker met President Jiang Zemin, NPC Chairman Li Ping, Premier Zhu Rongji and interacted with the India-China Parliamentary Friendship Group.

The visit helped strengthen Parliamentary cooperation between the two countries.

Defence Minister George Fernandes visited China from April 20-27, 2003 at the invitation of the Chinese Defence Minister.

He and the high level delegation accompanying him visited Beijing, Tianjin, Xian and Shanghai.

Defence Minister was given a warm welcome in China and had talks with Defence Minister Cao Gangchuan.

He also met CMC Chairman Jiang Zemin (in Shanghai), Premier Wen Jiabao, Vice Chairman of CMC, Guo Boxiong and Foreign Minsiter Li Zhaoxing.

He gave a well-attended talk at the National Defence University, where senior PLA officials are trained.

Leaders of the two countries have also maintained regular contacts, meeting frequently during international gatherings.

President Jiang Zemin met Prime Minister Vajpayee at Almaty during CICA Summit on June 4, 2002.

The Foreign Ministers of India (Yashwant Sinha), China (Tang Jiaxuan) and Russia (I Ivanov) met on September 14, 2002 at New York.

The Foreign Ministers of India and China have also been speaking on the telephone frequently.

Prime Minister Vajpayee met President Hu Jintao for the first time in St Petersburg on May 31, 2003.

Both India and China have instituted a wide-ranging dialogue on security issues, counter-terrorism, policy planning and consultations between the Foreign and Commerce Ministries, which are held on a regular basis and provide an opportunity for a frank exchange of views.

There is also regular interaction between strategic and foreign policy think-tanks at the Track-II level.

Prime Minister AB Vajpayee visited China from 22-27 June 2003. This was the first visit of an Indian Prime Minister to China in almost a decade.

During his visit, PM held talks with Premier Wen Jiabao and had separate meetings with President Hu Jintao, Chairman Jiang Zemin of the Central Military Commission, Chairman Wu Bangguo of the Standing Committee of the National People's Commission, and Vice President Zeng Qinghong.

He also interacted with the provincial leaders at Luoyang (Henan Province) and Shanghai.

Ten agreements and a Joint Declaration on Principles for Relations and Comprehensive Cooperation between India and China were concluded.

On April 11, 2005, Premier Wen Jiabao held important talks with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh in New Delhi.

Following the talks, the two leaders signed a joint statement and identified a series of common consensus reached by the two governments in the hope to comprehensively expand the friendly Agreement on the Political Guiding Principles for resolving the Boundary Issue between China and India.

(Inputs: Indian High Commission, Beijing)

First Published: Nov 10, 2006 17:01 IST