Cong-CCP pact: What Sonia said about it in interview to Chinese news agency

Although the Congress leadership is tight-lipped about the contents of the ‘rare pact’ singed between the grand old party and the Communist Party of China, Congress president Sonia Gandhi had waxed eloquent about it in an interview with Chinese news agency Xinhua in 2011.

Indus Scrolls had first reported how Rahul Gandhi had signed a memorandum of understanding for sharing organisational details and promotion of youth exchanges, etc. with CPC in the presence of the then Chairman UPA Sonia Gandhi and Vice-President of China Xi Jinping. Later, Sonia Gandhi and Xi held discussions in which Rahul Gandhi was also present.

One of the key elements of Chinese diplomacy is establish ‘organisational relationships’ with political parties in other countries. They adopted same tactic in Sri Lanka, Nepal and other countries.  Such tie-ups are forged to protect its interests. Times Now has reported that the Chinese Embassy in India had donated Rs 10 lakh to Rajiv Gandhi Foundation chaired by Sonia Gandhi.

In the interview to Xinhua: Congress President Sonia Gandhi had said India-China relationship has the potential to become ‘one of the foremost and most substantive relationship’ of the 21st century, observing that it must be a key instrument in shaping the changing world order.

The leaderships of both India and China are engaged in deepening political understanding which fosters respect for each others’ sensitivities.

Such a dialogue should address all vital issues of mutual concern through visits, seminars and a productive exchange of ideas, skills and experiences.

There may be some issues on which both sides have differences of approach and that’s natural given the size and complexity of the two countries.

Currently, India and China are engaged in building a strategic and cooperative partnership and it is significant that China has already emerged as India’s largest trading partner.

The future beckons us to build what has the potential to become one of the foremost and most substantive relationships of the 21st century and one that is of lasting benefit for the people of both our countries.

Call for stepping up exchanges among younger leadership of Congress and Communist Party of China to enhance mutual understanding. Those areas could include infrastructure building, inclusive growth, employment generation and environment protection, among other things.

Recalling her visits to China in 2007 and 2008 as Congress President, she said the Indian National Congress, and CPC signed a MoU in 2008. One of the key components of MoU was a shared commitment to strengthen exchanges amongst the younger leadership in the two parties.

More visits and exchanges, particularly among the youth wings of the two parties and between students of the two countries, are extremely important. That’s to ensure that the generation of young leaders in China and India know and understand each other well, she said, thus deepening the relationship between the two parties, the two peoples and the two countries.

Stepping up exchanges among younger leadership of Congress and Communist Party of China to enhance mutual understanding. Those areas could include infrastructure building, inclusive growth, employment generation and environment protection, among other things,

The INC and CPC have engaged in useful dialogue and exchanges over the years.

India and China have pursued different paradigms of development as they have different political systems, natural resources and endowments. Both countries have scored many achievements since independence and liberation respectively, but they also face challenges to greater development and prosperity. Both countries have the potential to learn from each other

Noting that the Indian and Chinese governments have played a central role in deepening the bilateral ties, Sonia Gandhi opined that Party-to-Party ties will foster greater mutual understanding between our leadership and our two people, and thereby impart positive momentum to the growth of multi-faceted relations between the two countries.

At the party level, Sonia Gandhi expressed, I believe that we should foster greater cultural and social linkages, especially among the youth, even as we promote trade, investment at the national levels, and international cooperation on multilateral issues of importance to both countries and on which we can adopt a common approach.