VICE PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS AT COMMEMORATION OF 60TH ANNIVERSARY OF FIVE PRINCIPLES OF PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE IN GREAT HALL OF PEOPLE, BEIJING, CHINA
President of India Shri M. Hamid Ansari addressed
at the “Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Five
Principles of Peaceful Coexistence” in the Great Hall of People, Beijing
in China today. The Vice President is on a five days official visit
to People’s Republic of China from June 26-30, 2014.
The Vice President
said, this is a very special occasion and I am
happy to be here today to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of
Panchsheel or Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. I congratulate our
gracious host, President Xi Jinping, for this initiative. On behalf of my
delegation and on my own behalf, I convey our appreciation to the Government
and the friendly people of the People’s Republic of China for their warm and generous
hospitality since our arrival here.
Pursuit of world peace
is a fundamental tenet of India’s foreign policy. It draws inspiration from our
ancient civilisational value of considering the world as one family. This shapes
and guides our actions in international relations.
Even before India
became an independent nation, the leaders of our freedom struggle had outlined the
fundamental precepts and values that embody the Five Principles of Peaceful
Existence or Panchsheel. The Constitution of India enjoins the State to
endeavour to promote international peace and security and to maintain just and
honourable relations between nations.
Speaking in our
Parliament the then Prime Minister Nehru had referred to Lord Buddha’s use of
Panchsheel as a moral concept and had welcomed it. In Myanmar, Panchsheel has deep
roots in its Buddhist traditions. In China, Confucius had emphasised harmony in
the midst of differences. It is thus evident that Panchsheel emanated from the
civilizational matrix of Asia and is Asia’s contribution towards building a just
and democratic international order. Ancient ideals of Panchsheel, envisioned by
our three countries, in the modern form are of continuing relevance in the
changed world of today and will remain so in the world of tomorrow.
Panchsheel came to be
accepted almost universally by countries and finally by the United Nations in
the conduct of international relations. UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold
described them as ‘a reaffirmation of the obligations and aims of the UN’. The
Bandung Conference of Asian-African Nations in 1955 expanded Panchsheel into
Ten Principles of Bandung, whereas the Non-Aligned Nations accepted Panchsheel
as the core principles of the Non-Aligned Movement at the Belgrade Conference
During the visit of
Premier Li Keqiang to India in May 2013, India and China decided to mark the 60th
anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence in 2014 by
designating it as the "Year of Friendly Exchanges".
It was my privilege to have
formally launched the “Year of India-China Friendly Exchanges” in New Delhi in
February this year. I am confident that various programmes under the Year of
Friendly Exchanges will help forge a closer and stronger relationship between
India and China.
India and China are
ancient civilizations. We are neighbours. We are strategic partners.
Historically, there has been much that has bound us together, not merely
through the exchange of goods and commodities but through a flourishing
interchange of ideas, values and philosophies.
The imperatives of the
21st century propel us towards a better understanding of each
other’s objectives and more purposeful cooperation for mutual benefit. Greater
interaction between the people of our two countries, in all fields, is a
necessary condition for stronger overall bilateral relations.
are rooted in our shared historical, ethnic, cultural and religious ties. Geographical
proximity has helped develop and sustain cordial relations and facilitated people-to-people
contacts. A significant population of Indian origin resides in Myanmar. Our
shared history and common interests paves the way for greater mutually
India believes that
globalisation should transform the world into, as Mahatma Gandhi had envisaged,
“a federation of friendly, interdependent nations”, without domination or
exploitation. Panchsheel is the basis of such a world order. We need to work
together to develop a framework for equitable globalisation, for genuine multilateralism,
and for seeking common and fair solutions for challenges that transcend
national borders and threaten humanity.
We need a new paradigm
for global action. Our destinies are intertwined. Our quest is, should be, for
a framework in which opportunities and challenges for the betterment of our
societies co-exist. In this endeavour, Panchsheel can act as a catalyst to help
us better coordinate our efforts, enhance mutual understanding, share
developmental experiences and tackle trans-national threats more effectively.
India, China and
Myanmar are bound by age old linkages and geography. We may be at different
stages of development but we can learn from each other’s national experiences. In
our respective bilateral relations, our common interests far outweigh our
differences. On the way forward, we have to build on our convergences and
narrow down our differences. Panchsheel can help us exploit this potential for
cooperation and come up with fresh, innovative initiatives to improve the lives
of our people.
On the global level, Panchsheel
preserves the right of all nations to choose their own path while interacting
with others on the basis of mutual respect and equality. It facilitates the
expression of views of all members of the international community, particularly
the developing countries, so that their concerns are highlighted and interests are
protected in the international economic, social and political order. Panchsheel
provides the framework within which a just and equitable global order can be
achieved to the satisfaction and benefit of all.
We gather here today to
reaffirm the timeless relevance of Panchsheel in establishing a peaceful,
stable, prosperous and secure world. As the co-originators of Panchsheel, it is
our duty to revitalize our friendly relations and to promote cooperation as the
only way forward towards the realisation of our common goals of progress and
prosperity for our peoples.
Kumar (in Beizing, China)/VPI/28.06.2014/SKM/JS