Xi Jinping exposes China’s hypocrisy with Panchsheel fakery

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Chinese President Xi Jinping waves after his speech as the new Politburo Standing Committee members meet the media following the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China October 23, 2022. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang

China commemorated the 70th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which is known in India as Panchsheel and a cornerstone of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s vision of a world order. In marking the anniversary and heaping praise on Panchsheel, China and its President, Xi Jinping, revealed their hypocrisy. There’s a reason why China is talking about Panchsheel now, an agreement that it trampled upon with its war against India in 1962.
It is to increase its influence on the global south that China is parroting the Five Principles of Peaceful Existence. It signed the first agreement with India in 1954.
However, unlike the 60th anniversary celebrations in 2014, India officially stayed away from the Panchsheel ceremony in China this year.
National strategy experts have called out China’s fakery in commemorating the Panchsheel anniversary.
They pointed out that the commemoration is ironic because China itself has “flagrantly violated all the Panchsheel principles”.
The first of the Panchsheel principles is mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. China has, from the very beginning, blatantly flouted that.
Experts also pointed out how China still continues to violate these principles with its continuing territorial claims and massing of troops along the border.
PANCHSHEEL, ONE OF BIGGEST BLUNDERS, SAY EXPERTS
The Panchsheel Agreement, signed on April 29, 1954, is formerly known as The Agreement on Trade and Intercourse with Tibet Region. It was signed by the Indian envoy to Beijing, N Raghavan, and the Chinese Foreign Minister, Zhang Han-Fu.
It gave major concessions to the Chinese side, and ended up trading Tibet’s independence, which made India share immediate borders with China.
There has been vehement opposition to the agreement in India since the very beginning.
“Born in sin” is how Congress leader Acharya Kriplani described the Panchsheel Agreement of 1954. Kriplani said during a debate in the Lok Sabha in 1959 that with the Panchsheel, India “put the seal of our approval on the destruction of an ancient nation [Tibet]”.
Kriplani’s criticism came years before the Chinese thrust upon a war on unprepared India.
“The 1954 Panchsheel Agreement represented one of India’s biggest post-Independence blunders,” said geostrategist Brahma Chellaney, while commenting on China marking the Panchsheel anniversary.
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday (June 29) highlighted the significance of the Panchsheel Agreement in resolving current global conflicts as he sought to expand influence in the Global South amid its tussle with the West.
“The Five Principles have set a historic benchmark for international relations and international rule of law,” said Xi.
EXPERTS CALL OUT CHINA’s, XI’s PANCHSHEEL FAKERY
“It is scarcely a surprise that Xi heaps praise on the five principles (“Panchsheel”) of peaceful coexistence… What Xi did not say is that, just about eight years later, China, by invading India in 1962, flagrantly violated all the Panchsheel Principles,” wrote Brahma Chellaney on X.
“Worse still, China continues to violate those principles in its relations with its neighbours,” added Chellaney.
It isn’t just with India, China has territorial disputes with several neighbours.
Recently, Chinese military personnel rammed two Philippine navy boats, boarded them and used axes, spears, machetes and hammers to damage the boats.
The Chinese aggression in a disputed area of the South China Sea seemed similar to China’s Galwan Valley attack of June 2020, and Indians called it “Galwan 2.0 in the South China Sea”.
A post by Sudheendra Kulkarni, columnist and an official of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s PMO, on him attending the Panchsheel anniversary celebration in Beijing irked several experts.
“Panchsheel principles were supposed to be the bedrock of India-China ties following India’s acceptance of Tibet as part of China, a massive political concession India made to China in the interest of peaceful relations,” said Kanwal Sibal, former foreign secretary of India.
“China totally violated these principles in 1962 and continues to violate them with continuing territorial claims on India and military pressures on the border,” Sibal wrote on X, reacting to Kulkarni’s post.
“Is massing of 50,000 troops by each side on the border consistent with Panch Sheel principles?” asked Sibal, a career diplomat.
Against this backdrop, Kanwal Sibal said it was appropriate that India didn’t attend the celebrations in Beijing.
“India’s presence at this self-serving Chinese propagandist show would be endorsing China’s adherence to these principles in India-China ties and Chinese conduct elsewhere,” he said. “We would be making a political fool of ourselves as a country,” he added.
CHINA’S PANCSHEEL MOVE STRATEGIC
There’s a reason why China is showing its affinity to the Panchsheel.
Chinese President Xi invoked the Five Principles and linked them to his Global Security Initiative, saying it aims for “joint security and a shared future for humanity”.
Xi has been promoting various initiatives, including the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), to expand China’s global influence.
However, it is a hogwash that doesn’t need much efort to be deciphered.
China has trampled upon all five of the Panchsheel principles and continues to violate them in its dealing with its neighbours. Therefore, marking the 70th anniversary of the Five Principles is plain Chinese fakery, which was exposed by President Xi as he heaped praises on the Panchsheel Agreement, while working against its spirit.

 

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