Congress slams BJP's foreign policy at 84th plenary, talks of Chinese 'influence' in presence of foreign diplomats

China emerged as one of the main focus points of the foreign policy discussions at the plenary of Indian National Congress, where a resolution lambasting the half baked, episodic and reactive foreign policy of the Narendra Modi government was passed.

India's main Opposition party criticised the current government for allowing other powers like China to entrench itself in the neighbouring countries encircling India and for failing to counter the 'nexus' between China and Pakistan, which threatened the regional balance and stability. Ironically, the Opposition leaders made these observations in the 'August presence' of specially invited foreign dignitaries, including the top diplomats from the Chinese embassy in New Delhi.

Manjul toon

Manjul toon

The resolution on foreign policy adopted in the morning session on the second day of the plenary session accused Modi government of creating "spaces in our neighboring countries through episodic engagements, which has allowed other powers, in particular China, to entrench themselves" in the neighbourhood.

Highlighting with concern the major challenge (China) in the sub-continental neighborhood, the resolution further stated that "never before in independent India's history, has the country been so diminished in its immediate periphery."

China has been encircling India and has significantly increased its influence in India's neighbourhood, investing huge amount of money on the "string of pearls" by building and occupying seaports in Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

China Pakistan Economic Corridor and OBOR initiatives

Noting the development of close relationship between Pakistan and China becoming a threat to South Asia, the resolution stated: "The Congress party recognizes the key foreign policy challenges include managing India's relations with China and Pakistan" as "the nexus between the the two neighbours poses a challenge to regional balance and stability”

Warning the Modi government it said that "this will have significant implications over any meaningful role that India aspires to play in the Asian region and the world."

Li Bijian, the deputy chief of the mission and Zhou Yuyun, political councilor and representative of the international department of the Communist Party of China from the Embassy of China in New Delhi were seated in the VVIP section next to Congress president Rahul Gandhi , UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh along with other foreign guests as the resolution was passed unanimously without amendments by the Congress party plenary.

Congress leader Anand Sharma at the AICC plenary in New Delhi. Twitter @INCIndia

Congress leader Anand Sharma at the AICC plenary in New Delhi. Twitter @INCIndia

Cautioning the government about the recent developments in Maldives, Nepal, Mayanmar and Sri Lanka, the resolution stated that as China has made deep inroads in these nations, the Modi Government "needs to ensure that the relations with India do not become a factor in the domestic politics of the countries in our neighborhood."

In an oblique reference to increased Chinese presence in Maldives the resolution says "there is a need for eternal vigil to safeguard our interests and to thwart attempts of any country to establish bases, that will restrict India and make the Indian ocean region vulnerable"

The resolution was moved by senior Congress leader and former foreign minister Anand Sharma and was seconded by Gaurav Gogoi, Member of Parliament from Assam.

Embarrassed to the core, the foreign delegates including from neighboring countries Nepal ,Bangladesh and senior diplomats from Chinese Embassy in New Delhi attending the session refused to comment on these issues.

The Indian National Congress had invited delegates from the Communist party of China but only three delegates from the Chinese embassy attended the plenary session.

Meanwhile, the resolution also urged the government to encourage the private and public sector companies to "invest rapidly in Myanmar in key infrastructure projects considering the growing Chinese presence in the country"

China also figured in the speech of Congress president at the plenary. He said "China is every where in — Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Pakistan", adding that "right now in the world there are two visions, one of America and the other of China"

Rahul's visit to China on the invitation of the Communist Party of China has been postponed several times due to tense situation at the Doka La plateau and other issues.

Reviving the Nehruvian vision of Non-alignment he said "I want to create in next 10 years a middle vision which can be known as Indian vision which will be the best vision of brotherhood, non-violence and love." He said "we need to compete with China with love and not with hate and enmity".


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Updated Date: Mar 20, 2018 15:03:51 IST

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