China: India

Been a busy week for Chinese President Hu Jintao, first in Vietnam and now in India, and just what for? asks Hexun blogumnist Liu Dingcai:


What can big brother Hu learn in India?


China's national chairman Hu Jintao arrived in the Indian capitol New Delhi on November 20 to commence the visit dealing with affairs between the two countries. On the 21st Hu Jintao met with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan at the Hyderabad Palace in New Delhi where the two sides held discussions on the development of cooperation strategy, reaching an important consensus on partnership relations. (according to The People's Daily)


The world doesn't revolve around us and to hold back now would be to our loss. China has increasingly urgent reasons to learn from India. But learn what?


From their experience in economic reform, from their success in reform of the education system, from their approach to reform of the health care system……more than a few pundits have been discussing this.


The way I see it, China also needs to be learning from India's experiences in political system reform. Because only with an intense reform of the political system and a push for democracy and rule of law can the binds the political system places on economics, culture and education be cast away, and achievements in reform of economic, financial, education and cultural systems attain consolidated and further development.


India has the highest population of all democratic countries and its number of voters in main elections amounts to over 670 million. That a democratic system can be maintained in a third world country like India is worth celebrating in itself. Although India's democracy isn't perfect, progress is slow, and has come across setbacks, these setbacks are technical matters and can be fixed. In fact they are being fixed as we speak. This goes to show that democracy has the ability to fix its own internal problems, as well as the ability to avoid recurrences. India's democratic politics have always been pushing the economy's rapid development and incessant scientific innovation, the strengthening of the flourishing service sector and the improvements of people's lives.

MSN Spaces blogger LCY Northboy starts off expanding on a Reuters news report of Hu's visit—


Reuters: Hu Jintao won't budge on the national territory issue
Hu Jintao's current visit trip to India is the first official visit by a Chinese head of state in over ten years. The last time was in November 1996 when former Chinese national Chairman Jiang Zemin made the visit as head of state to establish China-India relations. Reuters reports say that Hu Jintao will not be able to achieve as much eye-catching results as when Jiang Zemin visited, when Jiang Zemin and the Indian government officially reached an agreement to the nervous situation over the Himalayan border region between China and India. A battle broke out between China and India in 1962 over border claims, leaving behind a disagreement which to this day has yet to see any breakthrough developments.

—then breaks down the issues they'll be facing down over, along with brief background. Just how does China plan to deal with the border issue?


Tibet issue


The Tibet issue is a hidden unstable element in China-India relations. On Monday, over one thousand Tibetans held a protest in the Indian capitol Delhi, screaming slogans opposing China, demanding an end to Han political rule over Tibet. One leader from Tibetan Youth says the reason they strongly protest Hu Jintao's visit to India is because to his authorization of military force to suppress peaceful Tibetan demonstrations in 1989 when Hu was the Party Committee Secretary for Tibetan Autonomous Region.


Territorial disputes

中印边界争端在胡锦涛访问前夕重新升温。中国驻印度大使孙玉玺上星期在回答有关阿鲁纳恰尔邦的归属问题时说,中国认为,那一地区完全属于中国。针对孙玉玺的说法,印度国防部长慕克吉宣称,印度东北部的阿鲁纳恰尔邦为印度领土。他说,那个地区是印度不可分割的一部份。此外,印度还说,中国仍然控制着印度克什米尔邦沿山区边境的大片印度领土。阿鲁纳恰尔邦的归属问题也反映在两国分别印制的地图上。在中国印制的地图上,西藏南部有一大片地区只标志寥寥无几的城镇地名,然而,这块面积上相当于三个台湾的土地只在中国的地图上属于中国。换一张印度地图,那片地区就是印度的阿鲁纳恰尔邦。在1962年中印的边界战争中,中国军队实际上已经夺回了这片土地。然而,正当中国军队取得重大胜利的时候,中国政府突然宣布单方面无条件撤军。历史学家至今仍然对当时中国领导人毛泽东和周恩来为何突然宣布撤军的意图讨论不休。据中国媒体报导,当时中国军队接到的命令不仅是放弃全部收复的失地,撤回到麦克马洪线,还要从麦克马洪线再后撤20公里,与印军脱离接触,结果,战败的印军不但轻易返回原来控制的地区,又趁虚而入,继续向北推进,建哨所,修工事,反而多占了上千平方公里的土地。 1987年2月,印度政府将实际占据的9万平方公里的在中印传统边界线中国一侧的土地全部划为印度领土,并不顾中国政府的抗议成立了阿鲁纳恰尔邦。中国政府始终没有予以承认。这就是中国驻印度大使和印度外长发生口水战的由来。

Prior to Hu Jintao's visit, the territory dispute between China and India began to warm up again. Chinese ambassador to India Sun Yuxi, in answering questions regarding jurisdiction over Arunachal Pradesh said that in China's view, that region completely belongs to China.
Taking issue with Sun Yuxi's response, Indian Foreign Minister Mukherjee proclaimed Arunachal Pradesh, in India's northeast, to be Indian territory, saying the region is an inseparable part of India. India then went on to say that China still controls the Kashmir region, also a large piece of Indian territory.
The question over jurisdiction over Arunachal Pradesh is also reflected in the lines on maps separating the two countries. On Chinese maps, the Southern part of Tibet only shows the names of a few sparse cities and villages, but this piece of land, equivalent in size to three Taiwans, only belongs to China on Chinese maps. On an Indian map, that region is known as Arunachal Pradesh.
In the China-India war of 1962, the Chinese army actually did recapture this piece of land. But, just when the Chinese army was enjoying large victories, the Chinese government suddenly announced a unilateral and unconditional withdrawal. Historians to this day have not stopped debating the intent of the leaders of China at the time, Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai.
According to Chinese media at the time, the Chinese army received orders not only to abandon the whole of the recovered lost land and retreat to the MacMahon Line, but also to retreat to twenty kilometers behind it and break off contact with the Indian forces. In the end, not only did the losing India side easily recover their originally-occupied region, they took advantage of the situation and begain pushing North, establishing posts and repairing fortifications, eventually occupying thousands of square kilometers or land.
In February 1987, the Indian government took ninety-thousand square kilometers of the traditional border region between China and India which they then occupied to fully become Indian territory and, ignoring protests from the Chinese government, established Arunachal Pradesh, which ever since China has never recognized. This is the origin to the saliva war between the Chinese ambassador to India and the Indian Foreign Minister.


Scholars: Sensitive topics


Since China began implementing market reforms, Communist ideology has gradually been replaced by patriotism and nationalism. Many overseas scholars point out that extreme nationalism is a double-edged sword, fire which if not played with carefully can lead to severe burns. The territory issue is thus an extremely sensitive topic. Over December 9 and 10, 1999, when former Chinese Chairman Jiang Zemin and the then visiting Russian president Yeltsin signed the China and Russian governments’ agreement on two segments of the East-West border between China and Russia, there were no detailed reports on this subject followed so closely by so many people. On November 11, 1999, the first section of The People's Daily only had a short one hundred-word report on the treaty, the reason being to prevent agitating the people's nationalistic emotions over territorial issues. But, an intense reaction was provoked when this treaty was reported overseas, where the media is free. Overseas Chinese media reported saying that after this treaty was signed, the names places located on the Russian side of the border had now become symbols of eternal pain and humiliation in the hearts of all Chinese.


Pundits: The visit won't resolve the territorial issues


Observers feel that Hu Jintao's trip to India has shown an inability to resolve the issue of jurisdiction over Arunachal Pradesh through negotiations. India wants Hu Jintao to make big concessions in the territory issue just like Jiang Zemin did, and let this piece of land return to India forever, at the same time wanting China to move out of so-called Indian-controlled territory in the Kashmir region, all of which is wishful thinking.
Analysts say that in fact, politicians in both countries have already tactical evaluations. On the territory issue, neither China or India can underestimate the other's military or political strength, and relying on military force to resolve the territorial dispute wouldn't work for the governments on both sides; relying on diplomatic negotiations to resolve the problem will be a drawn-out process, one that won't see success in just one or two talks.
However, Indian Foreign Minister Mukherjee says that India and China's different views on the territory issue won't hinder trade and economic cooperation between the two countries. Some experts on China feel that the China side's emphasis is also on developing trade relations with India and carrying out concrete cooperation.

And an interesting look at how MSN Spaces blogger Qtwwtzyy's personal experiences have shaped her political views:


Yesterday's Financial Times headline was about Hu Jintao's visit to India. The newspaper says that although economic relations between China and India continue to expand, the two countries still harbor uncertainties. Leaders from the two countries in a joint statement said that “China and India are currently becoming two important countries in a multipolarized world, with both countries having sufficient space to realize mutual development.”


Writing like this I know all too well. I imagine it's the result of the hard work and struggle of the Foreign Ministry's colleagues. It may sound nice, but in regards to the border and trade issues, there haven't been any substantial breakthroughs made in this visit. Our relations with India are the same as they are with many other neighboring countries in that there are conflicts and the need to fight, just not fighting too hard.


My personal opinion of India and Indians isn't very good. This has absolutely nothing to do with racial discrimination and one hundred percent to do with my personal experience.

第一次接触印度人是在留学的时候。同班就有两个印度同学,都很漂亮,就像宝莱坞的电影明星。本来对她们并没有什么特别的看法,和其他同学一样友善,还常常在一起讨论功课,做做项目什么的。有一次学校有个关于亚洲的演讲,我们都去了。按惯例,主讲人做完报告,有一段时间的 Q&A。让我吃惊的是,一直被我以为很友善的印度同学提出了一个针对中国的问题,大意就是中国目前是世界的焦点,大家都在谈论这个经济稳定高速发展的人口大国。印度目前的发展和中国类似,人口还很有可能超过中国。作为邻国,两者的竞争将是赤裸裸的。对于印度而言,应付中国的最好方法是什么?在专家看来,印度对于中国的优势是什么?

My first time to get to come in contact with Indians was when I was studying abroad. There were two Indians in my class, both very beautiful, just like Bollywood stars. At first I didn't have any special opinions of them, they were just as friendly and nice as my other classmates, often discussing homework together, doing projects and what have you. There was one time when the school had a special talk on Asia and we all went. As is the convention, when the speaker finished, there was a short period for Q&As. What shocked me was when one classmate who I always thought was very friendly put forward one question attacking China, roughly saying that China is now the focus of the world with everyone discussing this economically stable, rapidly developing, highly-populated great country and that India is now developing along the same lines and has a population that might soon overtake China's. As neighboring countries, the competition should be plain for all to see. Speaking for India, what would be the best way to deal with China? As experts see it, what is India's advantage over China?


Just how the speaker answered I don't remember. But her question shocked me so much that I remember it to this day. Later I was thinking, maybe I'm too naive. We were adversaries to begin with; the only thing that exists between two countries are beneficial relationships, there are no eternal enemies or friends, so what's the big deal?

Backing up to China late last month, students at one technical college in East China's Jiangxi province found out from a television show that they wouldn't be getting the four-year university diplomas they had been promised, and some started rioting. There was bloggage here, here and camera footage posted here, but the story didn't hit youtube until a few days later. Video clips of the two thousand-strong team of police and soldiers arriving at the school, moving in, inspecting dorms, chasing students and attacking them here: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7.

Start the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.