Sino-Indian Relations, Relevance of ‘Five Principles’ treaty

World Today

The five principles of peaceful coexistence, also known in India as the Panscheel Treaty, came about 60 years ago. The Sino-Indian relationship was at the core of the treaty, which advocated mutual respect between countries for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in internal affairs, equality and cooperation for mutual benefit. Some say it’s time to return to the essence of those principles. We take you to India to see what the experts think about the treaty’s relevance today. CCTV’s Shweta Bajaj reports from New Delhi. 

Signed in 1954, the Panchsheel Treaty created the foundation for a peaceful relationship between China and India. Except for a brief war in 1962, the two countries continued their respective growth while maintaining largely peaceful border.

Alka Acharya is the director of the Institute of Chinese studies in New Delhi. She believes that a return to the five principles could help better Sino-Indian relations with an aim toward making the Asian century a reality.

The times have changed, the context has changed. We have to resend, renew, recast the Panchsheel but if we take the fundamental core of this Panchsheel. I think the nature of the Panchsheel is shaped largely by the focus on state sovereignty and a need to live in peace, harmony and mutual benefit. And I think if this core is taken it can be still be a valuable and fundamental platform for inter-state relations. Says Alka Acharya, Director of the Institute of Chinese Studies.

Sino-Indian experts says it’s a peaceful border that both China and India need for the growth and development of their people. That makes the Panchsheel treaty, which at its core deals with territorial integrity, even more important. A focus on economic dialogue and bilateral trade could be the key. Experts also say that Himalayan exchanges between China and India particularly in the areas of trade and commercial activity would build trust and confidence.

China today is not the China of the 60’s or 70’s. China is now a responsible stakeholder in global governance and secondly the nature of world politics has changed. In the sense, today it is a globalized world of mutual economic interdependence and economies of the world are getting inter-twined. And we need not be held hostage to what happened in the 60’s. We can always create a new relationship. Says Rn Das, a Senior at the Fellow of Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses.

The new Indian government’s priority is the prosperity of its people through reviving growth and creating jobs. With India needing a massive 1 trillion dollar investment in its infrastructure, experts say China’s investment could help the relationship, shifting foreign diplomacy to economic diplomacy. And this week the Indian government gave an in-principle approval to setting up Chinese industrial parks in India. What’s helping matters is that both governments aim to expand the China-India relationship with constant high-level engagements.

Sino-Indian Relations, Relevance of 'Five Principles' treaty

Sino-Indian Relations, Relevance of 'Five Principles' treaty

The five principles of peaceful coexistence, also known in India as the Panscheel Treaty, came about 60 years ago. The Sino-Indian relationship was at the core of the treaty, which advocated mutual respect between countries for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in internal affairs, equality and cooperation for mutual benefit. Some say it's time to return to the essence of those principles. We take you to India to see what the experts think about the treaty's relevance today. CCTV’s Shweta Bajaj reports from New Delhi.
Download Video

Together China and India makes up approximately 1/3 of the world’s population, and a good relationship would certainly lead to benefits for both nations.