Top CPC leader remembers Nehru for `Panchsheel`
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Last Updated: Sunday, September 05, 2010, 13:30
  
Beijing: Amid India's concerns over reports of Chinese troops' presence in PoK, a top Chinese leader has paid glowing tributes to Jawaharlal Nehru, saying the late Prime Minister gave 'Panchsheel' to China which is still using it to solve its "problems" with many other countries.

"Jawaharlal Nehru gave Panchasheel to China and we are still using it to solve our problems with many other countries," said Li Changchun, China's propaganda chief and fifth highest ranking leader in the ruling Communist Party.

He made the remarks on the five principles of peaceful co-existence, which India and China signed in 1954, at the Indian Pavilion at the Beijing International Book Fair recently.

The 'Panchsheel' principles stipulate mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty; mutual non-aggression against anyone; mutual non-interference in each other's internal affairs; equality and mutual benefit; and peaceful co-existence.

The Indian Pavilion at the Book Fair here was decorated with portraits of Nehru and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, the two Indian leaders who were earlier ranked among the foreigners who influenced China in the 20th century.

Li, a powerful 'back room leader' rarely seen in public, praised Nehru while looking at the Indian leader's portrait containing one of his famous quotes: "In future, the mighty nations that will emerge will be India and China."

Li also mentioned how China for centuries was influenced by Buddhism that came from India as well as writings and epoch-making visits of Tagore which made a lasting impression on generations of Chinese writers and intellectuals.

The timing of Li's visit to the Indian Pavilion at the Book Fair and his comments praising Nehru, who was portrayed as a "villain" during Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution, left Indian officials surprised.

The Indian officials view this as a Chinese way of making a conciliatory gesture to show its interest in developing good relations with India, which had taken up with China the issue of reported Chinese military presence in Gilgit-Baltistan region in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

At the just-concluded Beijing Book Fair, India showcased a whole range of books from Buddhism to works of Nehru and Tagore.

The Indian team headed by eminent historian and Chairman of National Book Trust (NBT) Prof Bipan Chandra, who was assisted by Prof Mridula Mukharjee and Prof Aditya Mukharjee of JNU, made Lord Buddha's 'Middle Path', Tagore's visits to China, Nehru's endeavours to promote Sino-India ties and India's growing influence on English publishing the main theme of the Indian pavilion.

Seeking to reinvent the spirit of China-India ties, the Indian Pavilion came out with a slogan 'Exploring the Middle Path' and 'Courtyard of Possibilities' which, according to NBT Editor Kumar Vikram, aroused a lot of curiosity and interest among the young Chinese visitors.

A number of interactive get-togethers were also held at the pavilion and in Peking University to discuss the new literary and political trends in both the countries as well as Sino-India relations.

China accorded India the 'Country of Honour' status at the book fair as the event was being held during the celebrations of 60th year of diplomatic relations between the two sides.

The CEOs, MDs and other top representatives of nearly 20 publishing houses from India and 13 from China held a get-together under the aegis of India-China Publishers' Forum to discuss possible networking for copyrights exchanges.

One of the biggest achievements of the fair was that it provided Indian publishers a window to interact with the Chinese audience and publishers.

According to the Indian publishers, there was a good response to Indian books on science, medicine, engineering and management, besides English language learning books. "We need to go back and see how we can translate the gains into commercial ventures," Vikram said.

PTI


First Published: Sunday, September 05, 2010, 13:30


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