Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Monday, June 23, 2003

Indian PM Wants to Write Poem for China

Indian Prime Minister (PM) Atal Behari Vajpayee began his 6-day tour of China on June 22. This is the first China visit by the Indian Prime Minister over the past decade, therefore, Vajpayee's China visit is of very important significance for the two countries of China and India.


Indian Prime Minister (PM) Atal Behari Vajpayee began his 6-day tour of China on June 22. This is the first China visit by the Indian Prime Minister over the past decade, therefore, Vajpayee's China visit is of very important significance for the two countries of China and India.
Vajpayee: "I've come for friendship"
Two days before his China visit, 77-year-old Vajpayee accepted the exclusive interview by the Global Times correspondent at the Prime Minister official residence. He said: I've come for friendship, and to transmit to China the information of peace, friendship, trust, understanding and cooperation on behalf of India.

The PM said that tremendous changes have taken place in the world over the past 10 years, and India and China have been carrying out extensive mutually beneficial cooperation, he expressed the hope his trip could deepen understanding and trust between the two countries, so as to further promote bilateral wide-ranging cooperation. He said he hoped to make use of this good opportunity of his present China visit to see with his own eyes the notable achievements gained by the Chinese people in economic development and scientific and technological progress over the past two decades. Vajpayee said modestly: There are many places for India to draw on and learn from China's noticeable economic achievements. I believe I can bring back from China many experiences and beautiful reminiscences.

Vajpayee who has published several collections of poems is honored as "a rare poet politician by Indian media". The HK-based South China Morning Post lately stated that Vajpayee was busy writing a poem in praise of China in order to add luster to his present historic visit. But when asked about the truth of this piece of news, Vajpayee answered with a smile: Since I've all along been busy with political affairs, I myself have had no time to write poems for quite a long time. But then he switched the conversation to other subjects and said humorously: If China's scenery is very good, I'll resume writing, this remark touched off a hearty laugh among those present.

When asked why he did not take Xi'an as the place he must go during his China visit as do heads of state of many countries, but instead chose Luoyang, Vajpayee replied with humor: Because I reserve Xi'an as the destination in my next visit to China!
Strong lineup of his China visit, with all members being "heavy weight" figures
According to Indian media reports, the lineup of the Vajpayee-headed delegation to China is of "super luxury", the ranking officials among his entourage include minister of foreign affairs and minister of industry and commerce, all are "heavy weight" figures well-renowned in the Indian cabinet. On the list of the delegation of industrial and business circles, there are more than 90 persons at CEO level alone, representing almost all large, famous Indian companies, and chiefs of Indian industrial and commercial federation, national software service association and industrial and trade promotion institution, as well as senior correspondents from various major Indian media. Such a strong lineup was rarely seen in previous Indian leaders touring abroad.

According to reports from Indian newspaper trust, arriving in Beijing with Vajpayee by the same special plane were also three special members who are the three members of Vajpayee's adopted daughter.

The content of PM's present trip is quite rich: During his stay in Beijing, Vajpayee will meet with Chinese State leaders, and a series of bilateral agreements in the cultural, judicial, oceanic and recycling energy fields will possibly be signed. After his visit to Beijing, the Indian leader will go to Shanghai where he will deliver a speech to Chinese and Indian information-technology magnates. Thereafter, he will go to Luoyang in Henan Province to visit Baima (White Horse) Monastery.
Special choice of Baima Monastery aims to convey his India-China friendship Wish
Maima Monastery in Luoyang is the earliest Buddhist monastery existing in China, there are two tombs in front of the temple, where two eminent Indian monks, who introduced Indian Buddhism to China in those years, were buried. This is the earliest souvenir marking the cultural exchanges between the two ancient civilized countries of China and India. Former Indian PM PV Narasimha Rao paid a special trip to Baima Monastery during his tour to China in 1993. A decade later, Vajpayee again listed Baima Monastery as his destination during his visit to China, this, without doubt, expresses the same wish: the two large countries of China and India should constantly strengthen links, exchanges and understanding, exerting joint efforts for world prosperity.

Over the past decade, the development of China-Indian relationship seems to be able to refract the course of 53 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries: The general trend is developing in an active and steady direction, but the intervening period also experienced many twists and turns. In 1950, India, as the first non-socialist country in the world, established diplomatic ties with the just founded People's Republic of China. China and India, on the political stage of the world, joined hands in making concerted efforts for the national independence and development of former colonial countries. But with the end of the 50s of the 20th century, the boundary disputes finally evolved into a Sino-Indian border conflict in 1962, as a consequence bilateral relations fell into a slump. The influence of the conflict even affected subsequent events. In 1988, former Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi visited China, marking a new stage in Sino-India relationship.

Vajpayee has forged "indissoluble bond" with China during his long political career. The visit he paid to China in 1979 in the capacity as Indian foreign minister broke the ice of no-contact between top leaders of China and India for 17 years. Under the circumstance featuring the constant development of the international situation, Vajpayee saw with increasing clarity that taking an active, forward-looking attitude to strengthen contact and exchange and deepen cooperation and trust with China, which had many common views on global issues with India, and which enjoyed growing economic strength and constantly multiplying international and regional influence, not only conforms to India's national interest, but also helps to find out more practical ways to solve bilateral problems left over from history.
Development of Sino-Indian relations has three characteristics
In a sense, China and India have many similar points: Both are ancient civilized countries on the Asian continent, both suffered long-term colonialist aggression, both have the characteristics of a huge population and vast territory, and both are working hard to develop economy and march quickly toward modernized countries. Former Chinese Ambassador Pei Yuanying, while being interviewed by Global Times correspondent, said: the populations of China and India account for two-fifths of the world total, both countries are faced with profound change and development, they are facing similar domestic and international problems, for this reason, we have similar views on most issues. Statistics show that in the voting of various kinds of issues in the United Nations, India's votes on the overwhelming majority of issues were identical with those of China. This fact shows that there is great potential for cooperation between the two countries in many fields. For this reason, Ambassador Pei used three terms to describe the relationship between China and India: The first term is "necessary"

The second term the ambassador used was "possible". International opinion holds that the rise of the two big countries in South Asia and East Asia is bound to cause competition and mutual distrust. Ambassador Pei holds that competition is itself not a problem, the crucial point is to see whether this competition is virtuous or vicious, the two competitors can find the aspect for mutual cooperation.

Besides competition, the question of security also affects the development of Sino-Indian relations. Shortly after it came to power, the government of India's Janata Party clearly pointed out that India should become one pole of the world, to this end, while developing economy India should constantly develop military cooperation with various big countries. India and Russia are traditional military cooperative partners, after the "9.11" incident, India forged closer ties with the United States. "But the key to judging whether a country constitutes a threat is to see whether or not it has the ambition to seek hegemony", said the ambassador, adding that "either China or India actually has no decision to seek hegemony, therefore, the development of the two countries is based on the principle of posing no threat to each other".

Finally, one more characteristic of Sino-Indian relationship is "complexity". The biggest obstacle to the further development of Sino-Indian relationship is the lack of adequate mutual confidence. Ambassador Pei holds that the speed and scale of cooperation between China and India are far from reaching a due degree and are out of all relation to the two countries' present international status. Besides the traditional boundary issue and China's relations with Pakistan, there is one more problem between the two countries, that is, although both sides are neighbors and wish to enhance their ties, their mutual understanding is far from adequate.

International media pays high attention to Vajpayee's present visit to China, articles under the titles, such as "Relationship Between Two Asian Giants Heats Up", "The Century of Asia" and "Cross-Himalayas Bridge", often appear in Indian newspapers. Nevertheless, improvement and enhancement of inter-state relations cannot be accomplished by one visit, some contradictions and problems between China and India have been continued for dozens of years and so cannot be solved satisfactorily by one round of talks. The decisive factor is that both leaders and people of the two countries should based themselves on a long-term point of view and strive to maintain and deepen the friendship and cooperation between the two countries in the future.

By People's Daily Online

Questions?Comments? Click here

Indian PM Starts Landmark Visit to China

India PM: India, China Can Build Partnership

Interview: Indian PM Hopes China Trip Will Build Better Understanding


News Analysis: Iran, Next US Target? ( 2 Messages)

Five Major Problems in China's Income Distribution ( 3 Messages)

China Adopts Draft Regulation on Vagrants ( 4 Messages)

Democracy in Iraq, through Ballot or Bullet? ( 7 Messages)

China-made HDTVs Sold to US Army ( 3 Messages)

Chinese Girl Granted US "President Scholarship Prize" ( 2 Messages)

Copyright by People's Daily Online, all rights reserved