Iraq chaos underlines relevance of Panchsheel: Dai Bingguo

panchsheelRecalling the ongoing chaos in Iraq, a senior Chinese official has underlined the continued importance of the principles of “Panchsheel” in conducting diplomatic relations.

Speaking at a conference in Beijing, organised on the eve of the 60th anniversary of Panchsheel, Dai Bingguo, a former diplomat and a State Councillor in the previous Hu Jintao-led administration, stressed the relevance of the five principles of peaceful coexistence – first championed by India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and then Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, during the 1954 treaty on Tibet, and later at the famous Asian-African conference at Bandung.

Alluding to the US-led intervention in Iraq, he added, “Under the pretext of humanitarianism or terrorism we are seeing interference in other countries’ internal affairs, and even direct attacks leading to chaos. What is happening in Iraq is a lesson for us to reflect on”. Dai served as China’s special representative for boundary negotiations with India under the Hu Jintao dispensation.

“Peace is in China’s DNA. The Five principles were written into Chinese Constitution as well as its diplomatic relations with all the countries,” he said.  He said China strictly adhered to the five principles till this day and will not seek to become a super power.

Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Myanmar President U. Thein Sein will take part in two day celebrations, starting June 28 to commemorate the 60th year of Panchsheel treaty. Besides taking part in the official commemorative function, Ansari is scheduled to hold talks with Xi and Thein Sein.

Panchsheel or “the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence” refers to mutual respect for sovereignty, non-aggression, non-interference in internal affairs, cooperation for mutual benefit and peaceful co-existence.

Some experts believe that the five principles have been appropriated by China as it attempts to remould its diplomacy in a region to assuage concerns about its rise among many of its neighbours.

 

 

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