Asia Society presents; 53
He's also signed a prison. This is a series of interviews with experts on Asian affairs designed to strengthen our understanding of Asian people and ideas. Your most on this transcribed series is the noted author around the world winning broadcaster Lee Graham. As you know. Frictions exists between many nations in many parts of the world. It is difficult to find two nations with a border in common who get along. Perhaps an example at least in the Western Hemisphere is Mexico in the United States and Canada and the United States. However when we go to the Far East we know that between China mainland China and India there has been some trouble. The seriousness of this trouble the extent to which it goes. What it means for them and for the rest of us who may be the friends of one side or another. Questions we'd like to raise on this program. And our guest is highly qualified to do so. He is jugaad Singh has served in fact currently is in the foreign service of his government
his country of India. And at the present time he is also a fellow at the Harvard Center for International Affairs. Now Mr. Mayor I know that you spend some time in China and you served as the Indian Shah in Peking from 63 to 66 as well as being posted in various parts of Europe and while you were in Peking have the trouble already started. Yes. The trouble in a sense started way back in 1959 I was posted in Peking in 1963 and was that to 1966. I visited China for the first time when I did nations were very friendly. That was in 1957. I accompanied the president Dr. on the Christian who later became president on a social visit.
I went to China again in 1960 as the leader of the team officials to talk about a boundary question. This followed on the visit to premier John lie to Delhi after this crisis or at least a crisis of confidence. It started in 1959. It is a matter of fact one should really look at the whole history of the relation between the two countries. India often became independent. Believed that the great challenge for the country was the challenge of development of modernization. And as far as they're in on policy was concerned it was a policy of friendship assisting the process of
other countries becoming free. But she didn't want to get involved in commitments of a military nature with any group of powers or any country. And she believed in that with a country like China which all do it in a sense it was independent was also embark on a new life. There must be a relationship of friendship. It was defined as a relationship based on the five principles principles of mutual respect and the principles of noninterference respect for each other's territorial integrity. And this pattern of relationship was established not in the beginning but I would say after 1954. And until 1959 we had friendly relations between the government in Peking government in Delhi
many visits were exchanged and then in 1959 at the time when there was a trouble inside Tibet. And you would remember the lie Lama. Escape from last I came to India. We gave him refuge in the sense that he was allowed to stay in India. But even then we were not in favor of India becoming the base for any hostile activities. And this was the time when the trouble started. But once this tension developed China didn't like the reactions of sympathy towards Tibet and diversion. The ly Lama. He didn't really also revealed or rather confirmed something which we had suspected that the Chinese notion of the common frontier between India and China
varied day considerably from what we considered to be India India as it had been traditionally in the frontiers of India. As we took them over when the British left and in the subsequent years and the subsequent months we tried to define what was the extent of the differences. When I went to China in 1960 as the leader of the team officials this was part of our task to ascertain what was the extent of the differences and what was the supporting evidence. Which was held by the two countries in support of the notions respective notions of the traditional front. And if I may recall I don't brief our instructions. I followed from a meeting
between John live and Prime Minister Netanyahu. When you are like in Delhi Well the extent of the differences of course are very considerable. It involves something like 50000 square miles of territory. Thirty three thousand square miles in what we call the eastern sector. That is to say what borders on the east with Burma and on the West would be done. May I ask you Mr. Nader at this point is it a matter of national pride a matter frankly of ego both to mainline China and India to maintain the border as you see fit. No point of view in it. And as she sees fit from her point of view why is there something valuable about this land which would benefit you if you had it where you still have it I trust.
Or would benefit China if she had it. How much of this is actually material. This is a complicated problem. And so you would have to be a little indulgent if I keep on harking back to history but. As early as 19 51 52 we saw some maps from China which showed a frontier very different from ours. And Prime Minister Nero raised this question when our relations were friendly with the Chinese prime minister. But we did. The reply which he received was very ambivalent. These are old maps. We haven't done our own surveys. But our friendship is important. If he had in fact made clear what was that. Claims of what was their notions. The discussions could have taken place.
But it is our belief and all the evidence which we marshaled does show that the traditional notions of the frontier which we have is historically justified. It is also a geographically sensible frontier because it corresponds to the watershed of the high range which is sort of natural frontier and it's confirmed through a process of tradition history custom. In the eastern sector there are people who live there people who have those connections and had historical connection with the gas sandwich in the contiguous province in India. It wasn't a matter of pride and pristine indeed as I said the prime minister knew raised the question and if I may bring it up to date Mrs Gandhi my prime minister
has again offered to discuss our bilateral problems with China. But it had no response. You get no response at all. Or do you just get a negative response. We've had no response at all. The current attitude OB China at least as they express it in their in their official statements and propaganda yesterday think that India is a reactionary country which is in league with the United States imperialists and the Soviet revisionists. That India is ripening to revolution and. Very adverse and critical references to our government to our system to our whole polity. But this is a standard and on many occasions from mainland China they do bring in things which are not relevant such as American
imperialists and Soviet revisionists After all you're simply bringing up the question of your government as to what is going to be done about the boundaries. So that is a highly un satisfactory answer. Even if I guess you would prefer to have China say I'm sorry this belongs to us period. But you don't even get that kind of answer. Well this they have said in the past during our discussions they have. They didn't define what they consider to be their notions of the boundary and we defined ours and we provided much wittier positive evidence in support of our contention. This was I say in 1960 but this was followed as you may recall by the massive Chinese attack across our front years in 1962 which made the problem much more difficult. David did watch some of this land then taken in by China and is it now occupied.
Yes the potion in the western sector might be called the dark or oxygen. Something like 14 thousands 500 square miles are in occupation of China. The situation is not not of active hostility. We certainly don't want to aggravate the problem but the problem is not the result. Is there any group within India who feels that it won't matter that much whether China has this land or not and is willing to let it go. Or do you have the back of your minds do you get this territory back. As I said the government has made clear that we are prepared to talk about our bilateral problems however. When we talk about our bilateral problems this would be with a view
to restoring the relationship of good neighborliness and I think the real approach which Prime Minister Niro had towards our towards relations with China that remains valid not been standing this experience which is that countries may have different social systems but in terms of their relationship they should respect each other and not aggravate or interfere in each other's affairs. The problem has got complicated because as you know China decided to give arms to Pakistan. There is a sense some suspicion that China has also given arms to some rebel elements in another land. Now these are not problems which are what I would call the legitimate
interests of China. They're extraneous. We have a problem with Pakistan one would have to agree with you that in order to have any good neighborliness in spite of different social and economic systems. Such assistance undercover or otherwise should not be given. And I think many people would agree that you are perfectly right. And now another thing we can rest easy. While we would be willing to talk to China about our bilateral or neutral problems we couldn't talk to China about what should be our relations with other countries with United States Soviet Union. Because no more than we would we would raise with China. Her relationship with third countries. You don't feel that that would be pertinent during any discussion with China. No.
What you're saying is that the electorate for the most part agrees with this in your country. You say the majority of people who are least interested in politics never a country there are always some people who are not interested in politics. But what would you say the majority of Indians feel this way. I would think so yes. Majority of Indians were happy when our relations were friendly. Yes disappointed when the relations turned sour. Convinced that India has not invited or provoked this hostility and wouldn't they don't revel in a hostile relationship. But naturally the government and the people are sensitive and vigilant about territory dignity of India and the right that the Indian people must decide their own pattern of government and their own patterns of social and economic system. And you do see it as a form of aggression about which you are unhappy
because as you point out it is so much better to be friendly with people if possible. But there are some people it seems in this world wouldn't you say so Mr. Nader who do not wish to respond to nomo offered us a decent friendliness. They seem to prefer to do the opposite. Well the sad weather there in our family means we can make it as close as that or whether they are in the families of the nations of the world. Well this is this is very relevant and to some extent the complexity of our problem with China became much worse because large not only the government but a large number of people jollity of people felt that this was a friendship. This was a brotherly relationship and and thereafter when the Chinese made these claims which they had. Either disown Dorothy's slug of
it and followed it up by this massive military attack. Well this was some sort of a betrayal of our hopes and a disappointment but I think it's important to emphasize and the government not good standing this experience has taken the attitude that we do not revel in this hostility. The government doesn't like the kind of acquisitions sometimes made by China that we are hostile to China i.e. north to please the United States of peace Soviet Union. Is that one of the accusation this is sometimes you hate us. Well whether independent sovereign country we want friendly relations with most countries with all countries including China. But we certainly wouldn't revel in hostility towards China in order to please countries which China
may consider as hostile to hook. I would say that most of the world knows that since India a quiet achieved their independence in 1947 that she has followed a remarkably independent course friendly with everyone possible. But taking a firm stand when necessary. So that is hardly a logical accusation on the part of mainland China towards India still. Was there some recent time when your country in the was able to sit down and talk with China about this matter. Or has this gone on resolved now for a number of years. Unless it remains under Sol we have diplomatic relations. And as I mentioned from time to time. And as the government prime minister foreign minister has reiterated a willingness to talk to China. One can do more. However we have also to be a little vigilant.
In view of past experience without asking and so our policy I think is one of anxiety. A friendly nonprofit cation. At the same time we didn't see a pragmatic evaluation of speculation in years. Could I take a moment Mr. Nader to ask you a little bit about your spending in the United States as you follow the Harvard Center for International Affairs. Are you enjoying that and is it helpful to you. Oh yes indeed. Center is a provides the facilities. To educate oneself. Harvard provides right happens. I've had opportunity of meeting many women and scholars and professors. And I'm in a group of 15 not from India from India alone but all of us I think benefit from this opportunity. Does each of you come from a different country. Yes there's only one person
all the other countries except United States that are since I was 6 6 from the United States but from the other country there are only one fellow. Can you recall offhand which countries they are. Oh yes and you know they're from all over the world starting from the east. Somebody from Japan myself from India. Then there was somebody expected but didn't come from United Arab Republic. There's a fellow from Ghana it was from France the Netherlands Finland United Kingdom Brazil. So we have a fairly representative construction of like an exciting intimate United Nations. Well a rather nice small one. Yes that's why I said in that one out but the exchange of ideas must be not only stimulating but enlightening. Yes and this is a been an exhilarating you know in the
universities. Yes aside from everything else you say. And when I was a little then switch on you do the rest of us and so upset me enjoy being young because it enables one as it were to really educate oneself in the foreign service of the government. Sometimes I don't know that. We have going a process of time become ignorant. That applies to everyone in any profession. But in your field it is even more important because the think of the world rests within the hands and within the brains of a select and a MUST be highly trained group of men. Yes they are all people the officials very senior officials and on the other hand of course people who had some responsibility they bring to the academic world. Some of the burdens of responsibility. And so there is a meeting of academia and bureaucrats if you like a
figurative sense. This I think produces the right kind of friction and cross-fertilisation of ideas at least to make I'm very glad that you were able to visit our studio in hearing this trip to New York so that our last conversation with you can be broadcast. And there are many people throughout the United States who listen to this program called the Asia Society present will benefit from the infant. You have given us about your relations with China. I'm sorry you can't be a happy one but perhaps in time to come the situation will improve. Surely through the efforts of your country it only can improve and I thank you for being here and to remind our audience that you have been there. If you a prominent Indian official Mr. Jack I thing it may have been serving in the foreign service of his country of India since 1947 and currently he is a Fellow of the hobbit Center for International Affairs. Thank you and goodbye. That concludes tonight's edition of the Asia Society presents with Lee Graham.
This series comes to you through the cooperation of the Asia Society. If you would like to comment on tonight's program or would like further information about the society and how you can participate in its many interesting activities please write to Mrs. Graham at WNYC New York City 100 0 7 and make a note to join us again next week at this time for another edition of the Asia Society presents. This is the national educational radio network.
- Asia Society presents
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- Asia Society presents is a series of programs from WNYC and The Asia Society. Through interviews with experts on Asian affairs, the series attempts to strengthen listeners understanding of Asian people and ideas. Episodes focus on specific countries and political, cultural, and historical topics.
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Host: Graham, Leigh
Producing Organization: WNYC
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