Amid the prolonged confrontation at the LAC and Chinese belligerence there is an ongoing debate in India to rethink its One China Policy including Tibet. A group of experts recently held a brainstorming session organised by Udaipur-based NGO Usanas foundation on “Rethinking India’s ‘One China Policy’: Tragedy of Tibet”. The list of speakers included Former Special Secretary, Krishan Varma, Prof. Srikanth Kondapalli, Abhijeet Iyer-Mitra Senior Fellow, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies and Tibetan Activist and Writer Tenzin Tsundue.
Kondapalli threw light on the historical perspective of the One China Policy of India. He said that the policy was initiated between December 1949 and April 1950. However, it was only related to Taiwan in the initial period, as the Communist Party won the civil war and the Kuomintang was pushed back to Taiwan. India had an embassy in Chongqing in the Republic of China.
“India also had Consul Generals in Lhasa, Xinjiang, and other areas. Within two years, the Communist Party won the war and we had to switch over from diplomatic relations with ROC (Republic of China) to PRC (Peoples Republic of China),” Kondapalli said, adding, “With the advent of the PRC, the Communist party started setting up a different kitchen. All the diplomatic missions and relations were abolished and new relations were established.”
India was among the first nations to use this world ‘One China’ and recognise China, along with Burma and Pakistan. India simply stated that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. “In about four years, we also had the Panchseel Principle and we started to have a nuanced position that Tibet – we began to consider it as China’s part in trade perspective. Every joint statement reiterated that position till the 2010 joint statement. We started deviating a bit from it after staple visas were issued ..