One China? What about One India policy: Sushma Swaraj to Wang Yi

It’s learnt that this came up in the context of dealing with sensitive issues during the bilateral conversation between both leaders on Sunday.

Written by Pranab Dhal Samanta | New Delhi | Updated: June 12, 2014 8:14 am
Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, right, and her Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, leave for a meeting after a photo session in New Delhi, India. (AP) External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with her Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi. (Source: AP)

Laying down fresh rules of engagement with China, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made it clear to her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during his recent visit that while the new BJP government supports Beijing’s ‘One China’ policy, it would also expect China to adopt a ‘One India’ policy.

It’s learnt that this came up in the context of dealing with sensitive issues during the bilateral conversation between both leaders on Sunday. While Wang sought to remind Swaraj about the Vajpayee government’s commitment to the One China policy, the External Affairs Minister raised concerns over Chinese military presence in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and stapled visas for residents of Arunachal Pradesh.

In fact, sources said, Swaraj made this point while summarising the discussion towards the end of their meeting. “Mr Minister, we support  the One China policy. However, we expect you to also have a One India policy,” said Swaraj and promptly ended the conversation with “xie xie (thank you)”, leaving little scope for a counter.

This was for the first time that India has articulated this position at a political level, which by itself is a significant shift as for over a decade New Delhi has always endorsed the ‘One China’ policy. For Beijing, getting this endorsement from all major countries has been a major diplomatic effort because it inherently negates claims like that of Tibet among others.

The underlying message in Swaraj’s remark was clearly pointed at Chinese role in PoK and the constant use of stapled visa as a tool to emphasise dispute, be it in Arunachal Pradesh or earlier in the case of Jammu and Kashmir. India has always protested this practice and for that reason, residents of Arunachal Pradesh are at times not part of many exchange programmes.

Later, Wang sought to justify the Chinese position on stapled visas for Arunachal Pradesh residents as a “gesture out of goodwill and flexibility” claiming that this was meant to facilitate travel for people from these areas. His remarks, sources said, only confirmed that Beijing will maintain a segregated approach to areas it considers disputed in India.

By putting the “One India,” idea on the table, insiders said, India was not looking to make this conditional to supporting the “One China” policy but keen to underline that New Delhi, too, has leverage.

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  1. A
    adal singh
    Jun 12, 2014 at 4:24 am
    India has never been on mercy of China. Sushma ji has taken a right posture by paying it in same coin. It is a good start of our Chinese policy. We must maintain it.
    Reply
  2. L
    laldo
    Jun 12, 2014 at 4:46 am
    Hats of to Sushma Swaraj to put Indian position on border disputes against china when we have recognized Beijing’s ‘One China’ policy, it would also expect China to adopt a ‘One India’ policy & that means china shud move out from PoK which is very unlikely.
    Reply
  3. C
    Cool-boy
    Jun 12, 2014 at 2:43 am
    Silly and immature. Do you really think this will somehow spook China or forced them to change their position? India always think this verbal one-upmanship somehow matters. But it absolutely change nothing.
    Reply
  4. H
    Harish Sidlaghatta
    Jun 18, 2014 at 8:45 am
    good start from a bold position. we have Tibet and China neighbors to leverage too. Don't give up legitimate issues of Tibet exiles
    Reply
  5. J
    Jayanarayan Kongasseri
    Jun 12, 2014 at 3:39 am
    The final statement of Ms.Swaraj is excellent and clear bargaining argument. Congrats to Ms.Swaraj on her fresh and bold approach. We have confidence that the fresh approach and better preparedness will .help solve the rivalry between India and China quickly.
    Reply
  6. K
    Kobid Timsina
    Jun 12, 2014 at 5:10 am
    It about projecting Indian concern, it may not change China but world knows India has leverage of democracy over China in these issues.
    Reply
  7. R
    Rocky Rocky
    Jun 12, 2014 at 3:55 am
    A very appropriate poser from our new FM. How about one India policy? Tibbet needs to be brought into the discussion again. It was one of the biggest bers of Nehru to offer Tibbet on a platter to China.
    Reply
  8. R
    rohini
    Jun 12, 2014 at 5:49 am
    China has also one child policy, same law across the country.But here it is different.
    Reply
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