(TibetanReview.net, Dec18’20) – Celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and China – during which the two countries signed a trade agreement in 1954 which saw India recognizing Tibet, then still a nominally independent country, as part of China – are now headed nowhere at this time. As expansionist China seeks to redraw the line of actual control between Tibet under its occupation rule and India’s Ladakh region, both the countries have cancelled events marking the diplomatic milestone.
Days after China cancelled plans to jointly launch commemorative stamps with India to celebrate the event, India has cancelled all 70 such diplomatic events planned with the former, reported the republicworld.com Dec 18.
Instead, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) has now decided to ramp up cultural relations with Taiwan, a bitter rival of China, the report noted.
Following a summit meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year in Chennai, the two countries planned to hold a series of events to mark their diplomatic milestone. But after the Galwan Valley clash in the night of Jun 15-16, 2020, India decided to cancel these events, Dinesh K Patnaik, DG ICCR, was cited as saying.
It was in Nov 2019 that the two countries finalised 70 celebratory activities in 2020 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations with a host of cultural, religious and trade promotion activities besides military exchanges.
Many of these events were slated to be organised in China.
But on Dec 8, China’s state-run CGTN-TV reported that the country’s State Post Bureau had decided to cancel a plan to jointly launch commemorative stamps with India.
China at that time claimed that New Delhi had not given “feedback” for the launch. But India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the claim was “factually incorrect,” the report said.
Meanwhile on the simmering Ladakh border faceoff, India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava has told reporters Dec 17 that the two sides were continuing to maintain communication through diplomatic and military channels and that these discussions had helped enhance their understanding of each other’s positions.
The report said that Srivastava when asked about the next round of Sino-India military and diplomatic talks on the more than seven-month-long border standoff, did not give a direct reply but said India expected that further talks will help in reaching an agreement.