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
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
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
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
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.