English हिन्दी
Connect with us

Latest world news

Meeting Deng Xiaoping on Rajiv Gandhi’s history-making visit to China

Published

on

L-R: Deng-xiaoping, Mao, Xi

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Mao, Deng and now Xi Jinping. Three of the most powerful leaders in Chinese history. It was Deng Xiaoping who paved the way for Xi to become as dominant a force as he himself was. Dilip Bobb recounts a memorable meeting with Deng in Beijing.

The just-concluded Congress of the Communist Party of China has cemented President Xi Jinping’s place in history as the most powerful leader of the country since Deng Xiaoping.  It signposts the end of the Deng Xiaoping era and the beginning of the New Era led by Xi. For veterans like me who were privileged to have an audience with Deng, it brings back memories of the iconic status he enjoyed and the roadmap he laid out which has led to China – and Xi – being where they are at this inflection point in history.

I met the legendary revolutionary on a freezing January morning in 1989 as part of the media delegation accompanying then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his history-making visit to China. Being bundled up in layers of wool and thermal, heavy boots and woolen caps covering most of the face, left very little scope for individuality. Luckily, the meeting between Deng and Rajiv followed by a brief reception-line encounter with us lowly scribes was held in the Great Hall of the People, the massive building at one end of Tiananmen Square in Beijing, which had central heating. Chinese officials had briefed us on protocol, distance to be maintained (no handshakes, just a bow or a namaste) and other restrictions to do with his advanced age –he was 84. The briefing and the reverence in their voices when mentioning the ‘Paramount Leader’ made it seem like we were being given an audience with God. In communist, hence atheist, China, Deng was as close to God as anyone could get. His advanced age meant he still had the authority but had become more of a father figure with little official responsibility in the day-to-day affairs of the country.

Still, the veneration and respect with which he was regarded in China had added considerable hype and expectation to the first handshake between an Indian prime minister and the unquestioned leader of China on a bilateral visit. Nehru and Mao had a finger-wagging meeting, but at the Bandung conference in 1954. Since 1961, relations between India and China had been even more frigid than that January morning in Beijing. The Rajiv-Deng meeting represented the potential for a historic breakthrough, or, at the very least, a breach in the Great Wall. There was a discernible sense of history in the making when the two delegations gathered at opposite ends of the ornate and cavernous Great Hall. Rajiv and his official delegation had entered and waited for the Paramount Leader. We, the media clutch, were herded into a corner but with a clear view of the proceedings. Then Deng emerged, disappointingly frail and wizened, but the air of authority around him was unmistakable. The two leaders walked slowly towards each other, Rajiv on his own, while Deng had two aides on either side.    

If Rajiv deserves credit for taking the gamble of flying blind to Beijing, it was the all-powerful Deng who orchestrated the turning point during his emotion-charged meeting with Rajiv, a man half his age. The tension in the air was almost touchable as the two leaders converged. Deng, the famous pudding face animated by a twinkle in the eyes, shuffled forward, then stopped, realising Rajiv was still some distance away. The make-or-break enormity of the occasion was reflected in Rajiv’s body language as he moved hesitantly forward, exuding a certain nervousness. Throughout the three-minute-long handshake, he remained unsure and overawed, answering in monosyllables as Deng rambled into reminiscence. In China, however, symbols and semantics are infinitely more important than official declarations. Deng’s opening remarks welcoming his “young friend” and suggesting they “forget the past” was an overt indication that he was literally holding out a hand of friendship. And the next few minutes of their meeting was broadcast through loudspeakers, not so much for the benefit of the world media as for China’s one billion people.

The fact that he spent 90 minutes with Rajiv discussing the changing international scenario and his vision of the balance of power was another signal. A semi-recluse, Deng rarely spends over 30 minutes with visiting leaders. Thus, without actually saying so, Deng was giving his blessings to a burial of the past and the start of another Long March towards normalisation of Sino-Indian relations. After that meet, my brief encounter with Deng was an anti-climax. We shuffled forward in a line, each person pausing for a few seconds to greet the man we had only read about in history books. He would look you in the eye, nod slightly as you were introduced, and then you made way for the next in line. His hands were frail and trembled slightly so the no-handshake rule was logical. Yet, walking away, one could not shrug off the feeling of having just been part of history, even if it was a bit part. Looking back, it is clearer to see the roadmap that Deng left for his successor (Xi was then a regional party chief in Fujian). Deng would die in 1997 but by the time we met him, he had already laid out the essential action plan for China which had just come through the disastrous Cultural Revolution. Called the 24 character strategy, the plan enjoined the Chinese to “observe calmly, secure our position, cope with affairs calmly, hide our capacities, bide our time, be good at maintaining a low profile, never claim leadership.” In other words, China should focus on transforming its economy and keep a low profile in international politics. Towards this end, he advocated the Four Modernisations – of agriculture, industry, science and technology and defence. China adhered to these guidelines with spectacular results and catapulted the opportunistic Xi Jinping to a position where he is now part of the Great Triumvirate of China. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Latest world news

Nawaz Sharif, Bilawal Bhutto’s parties strike deal on Pakistan coalition Govt, Shehbaz Sharif to be PM

The PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari, 68, is set to assume the role of the President of Pakistan again.

Published

on

Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) have agreed on a power-sharing deal to form a new coalition government after days of intense negotiations, as per the senior party leaders.

On Tuesday night, in a joint conference, the PPP Chairman Bhutto announced that PML-N president, 72-year-old Shehbaz Sharif will be the Prime Minister of Pakistan once again and the PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari, 68, is set to assume the role of the President of Pakistan again.

Speaking to reports, Bhutto said the PPP and PML-N have achieved the required number, and now they were in a position to form the government.

He said the former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party-backed candidates and Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) could not achieve a simple majority in Parliament to form government in the Centre.

Bilawal hoped that the political alliance with PML-N to form a coalition government would result in a positive market response since the cash-strapped country faced a hung Parliament after the February 8 elections.

Independent candidates, who were supported by the 71-year-old Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, managed to secure 93 seats in the National Assembly.

Shehbaz Sharif, in his speech, expressed confidence that his PML-N party, along with the PPP, now has the necessary numbers to form the next government. He also thanked the leadership of both parties for successfully concluding the talks.

According to the reports, the former prime minister highlighted the unity between the two political parties and their strong position to form the government at the Centre.

The PML-N secured 75 seats in the election, while the PPP came in third with 54 seats. Additionally, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) has agreed to support the two parties with their 17 seats.

To form a government, a party must win 133 out of 265 contested seats in the 266-member National Assembly or the lower house of Parliament.

Continue Reading

India News

Poland Minister Wladyslaw T Bartoszewski says India is a superpower, should play role in World affairs

The Polish Minister said it is time to take the relations between the the two countries to a higher level. He said India has developed into a phenomenal country and is the 5th largest economy in the world. The minister said the Polish economy has also developed and both the countries have much more to offer each other.

Published

on

Secretary of state at the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Poland Wladyslaw T. Bartoszewski on Monday said that India should play a bigger role in global politics. He said India is a superpower now and hence India should play a role that fits superpower at the global scale. He said the relations between Poland and India have been extremely good. He said they have not had any problems.

The Polish Minister said it is time to take the relations between the the two countries to a higher level. He said India has developed into a phenomenal country and is the 5th largest economy in the world. The minister said the Polish economy has also developed and both the countries have much more to offer each other.

He said the Polish government wants India to play a more active role in World Politics. He said India is the largest democracy in the world and shares values with Poland as to how the world should be organised. The Polish Minister said he is looking to partner with India. He said Poland is looking at potentially creating the India-Central Eastern European Forum to discuss amongst a few countries.

He said there are a lot of topics and Poland wants to partner with India to play its role in the world affairs. Bartoszewski highlighted the remarkable economic growth India has made under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said Warsaw would like to work in closer co-operation with New Delhi. India and Poland share strong bilateral ties.

After the Ukraine war began, Poland helped in India’s Operation Ganga by aiding in the evacuation of Indian students from the war struck country in 2022.The Polish minister commented on the Russia-Ukraine war which has been going on since the last two years. He said the war will end if immediately if Russian President Vladimir Putin withdraws his forces from neighbouring Ukraine.

Continue Reading

Latest world news

71st Miss World contestants visit Raj Ghat and pay respects to Mahatma Gandhi

The 71st Miss World will take place between February 18 and March 9 which will unfold across various venues, including the Bharat Manadapam in New Delhi. 120 contestants from countries around the world will participate in various competitions and charitable initiatives, serving as ambassadors of change.

Published

on

Miss World contestants, accompanied by Julia Morley, chairman and CEO of the Miss world Organisation, visited the Raj Ghat, also known as the Gandhi memorial, on Monday, where they paid their respects to Mahatma Gandhi. The 71st Miss World participants also visited the Gandhi Museum.

The 71st Miss World will take place between February 18 and March 9 which will unfold across various venues, including the Bharat Manadapam in New Delhi. 120 contestants from countries around the world will participate in various competitions and charitable initiatives, serving as ambassadors of change.

Julia Morley, chairman and CEO of the Miss World Organisation said in a statement that her love of India is no secret and having the 71st Miss World Festival in this country means a lot to her. She thanked Jamil Saidi for his herculean efforts to make the return of the event to India a reality. She said the Miss World Organization has assembled the best team for the 71st edition.

The 71st Miss World will end with a dazzling grand finale at the Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai. India last hosted the international pageant in 1996. Manushi Chhillar was the most recent Indian to win the pageant, having bagged the crown in 2017. Previously, Reita Faria Powell, Aishwarya Rai, Diana Hayden, Yukta Mookhey, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas have also won the competition.

India is currently hosting Miss World 2024 in Delhi and Mumbai after 28 years. The competition will begin on  Februray 18, with the grand finale scheduled  on March 9, the 71st Miss World Pageant will feature 120 contestants from 120 countries and territories, which includes India and will feature various competitions and charitable initiatives. The 21-day fashion and beauty event will feature a variety of events that will empower young women as change agents and future leaders.  

Continue Reading

Trending

-->

© Copyright 2022 APNLIVE.com