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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 17:33, June 15, 2004
No single country can control the whole world: Interview
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Former Indian President Kocheril Raman Narayanan accepted an exclusive interview of People's Daily on the background, the importance of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and its guiding role for India-China relations in Beijing June 14.

The 83-year-old former president remained talkative and an agile mind. He said, 50 years ago, then Premier Zhou Enlai proposed the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence for the first time as the guiding principles for solving the significant issues between India and China, which also got India's consent. Then the noted Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence was born!

Narayanan held that the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence has had creative contributions to theories and practice on international relations and will continue to have an important role in today's changing world and in the future.

He said the fact that the influence of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence constantly expanded after its emergence has showed its great vigor. It was rare in the history of international relations that principles signed between two countries, i.e. China and India, could be accepted by various countries worldwide. The Asian-African Conference in Bandung, Indonesia in 1955 accepted the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, and wrote them into the ten principles of the conference. The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence have become the fundamental principles for anti-colonist, anti-imperialist Asia-Africa move seeking peace and freedom. The United Nations set the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence guiding principles for actions on international relations.

The former president said that India has always taken the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence as the foundation of handling foreign relations, and has always practiced non-alliance diplomatic policy.

Although there used to be misunderstandings between India and China, they are gradually solved as the two countries could always stick to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Presently, India and China have greatly improved their bilateral relations, cooperated with each other and understand each other, and have developed fruitful cooperation in the fields of economy and trade, science and technology, national defense and security.

Although there remain some disputes on border issue, the two countries can understand each other based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, and create a good environment for solving problems through negotiation. He expressed his belief that China and India, as the initiators of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, should cooperate with each other.

He said, the population of India plus China exceeded two billion as two fifth of the world's total. Thanks to Deng Xiaoping's promoting economic reform and his successor leaders' whole-hearted practice, China has achieved world-noted economic development. India also overcame its syndrome of snail development, and became a country with rapid economic development. In the period for development, there is huge room for India and China to have exchanges and cooperation.

As to the role the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence has played in international relations, Narayanan said, the world is diversified and there exists diversities and difference in terns of culture, language, religion, economy and political belief. The kaleidoscopic world nowadays is still under the shadow of hegemony. Some political theorists in developed countries proposed new cosmopolitan theory, ending national sovereignty theory and even a theory on uni-polar world. India and China believe in the theory of multi-polar world and that the uni-polar theory and the pratice of interventionism will be dead end, since they run contradictory to the world order of democracy and pluralism. Understanding, sovereignty and non-alliance, not intervene into the internal affairs of other countries, equality, mutual-benefit and peaceful coexistence laid the foundation for the sustainable world order. No single country can control the whole world, he concluded.

The article is carried on the People's Daily, June 15, and translated by People's Daily Online

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