ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by G P DSubscribe to G P D

Zhao Ziyang Makes a Point

Zhao Ziyang Makes a Point G P D ZHAO ZIYANG, Prime Minister of China, has just concluded a visit to the United States. The trip seems to have yielded nothing significant except the fact that the trip was finally undertaken. Even that is not very surprising. The Chinese-US relationship has reached a stage of development where it would have been surmising if the Chinese had made their displeasure with American policies so explicit as not to go through with the plans of Zhao Ziyang's visit to the US. They did drop some hints to the contrary. Reagan in his present mood could not have taken these hints to heart and lamented the possible non-arrival of the Chinese Prime Minister. His reaction or rather the lack of it once again demonstrated that the Sino- American relationship is an unequal one and no matter how hard the Chinese might try to show it to be otherwise, they are at the receiving end. In short, the trip had to be gone through and so it was.

Modern Management and Good Old Tradition

Modern Management and Good Old Tradition G P D THE election culled by Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone on December 18, 1983, was the fourteenth general election since Japan's new post-war constitution came into effect in 1949. This means that on an average the Japanese have gone to the polls every two and a half years. In party terms Japanese politics has shown no change. The Liberal Democratic Party has ruled unchanged. But there have been frequent changes in the leadership of LDP, Yoshida, Hatoyama, Kishi, Sato, Ikeda, Tanaka, Ohira, Miki and Naka- sone have been prime ministers during these thirty-four years. Nine prime ministers in thirty-four years would mean that the average term of a prime minister has been that of about 3.7 years or so. Political instability very much like in Italy or pre- de Gaulle France has been a marked feature of Japanese politics. In Japan the prime ministers and governments are rather fragile material. They do not last.

Poor Imitators

Poor Imitators G P D THE preparations for 1989 are already on. You would have got this impression, a.s we did, if you were in Delhi about the middle of November. Suddenly there were discussions, seminars, symposia on Nehru and his contributions everywhere in the capital. The occasion, of course, was his 93rd birthday on November 14. One got the impression that some preparatory salvoes of the centenary celebrations were being fired. The capital was full of Nehruiana, It could be the first round of what will over the next five years be the build up for the centenary celebrations; alternatively, it might be a reminder in view of the 1985 (or will it be 1984?) elections of the Nehrus in general and their contribution to the welfare of this country and of humanity at large.

Beyond the Border Dispute

Beyond the Border Dispute G P D NEXT Monday, i e, on October 24, yet another round of talks between China and India opens in New Delhi. The Chinese have tread a cautiously optimstic path as far as Sino-Indian relations and the prospects of a tangible solution to the vexed territorial problem are concerned. It does not require an astrologer to predict that the fourth round would not produce any results on the most outstanding question between India and China, namely, the question of the disputed frontier. There is really no room for adjustment. Both sides have made this categorically explicit. The Chinese would not go beyond the Deng Ziaop- mg package. Indira Gandhi would not accept it. She would accept the Deng package with something extra but the Chinese are in no mood to explore that possibility. The problem between India and China is no longer one of history or of law per se. It is purely political. Is the Sino-lndian normalisation which hinges upon the settlement of the frontiers dispute a central requirement of the foreign policy of either country? It would seem that taking a clearly bilateral view of the matter is neither enough or right. A normal Sino-lndian relationship has a global meaning and much would depend upon how that meaning is read in Beijing and New Delhi: more so in New Delhi, To begin with, a distinction bet- ween New Delhi's and Beijing's attitudes needs to be drawn. While it is true that Beijing is unwilling to go beyond the Deng package, it is not at all clear if the border settlement is being thought of as a precondition to a meaningful relationship with India in Beijing. Probably that is not the case. On the other hand, we are determined to have a border settlement properly signed on the dotted line in our pockets before we consider any qualitative change in our view of the Sino-lndian relationship. It is difficult to see the utility of such an approach. It was time the policymakers in Delhi realised that relations between two countries can never be of the 'and they lived happily ever after' variety. Even after a border settlement contradictions in Sino- Indian relations will persist, in new garb and form. Our relations with the Soviet Union and the United States are not free of contradictions either. Yet Indira Gandhi's government goes on doing good business with both of them. There is no reason why it should not be possible to do the same with China.

Indira Gandhi s Couriers

would appear to have a vested interest in such a stake, for at least two reasons: Bonn can ill-afford to talk of one German nation and thereby ignore the economic suffering of East Germans; nor does the West German government wish to have a mass emigration out of GDR

Sinhala-Tamil or Centre-Periphery

Sinhala-Tamil or Centre-Periphery? G P D G PARTHASARATHY reaches Colombo next week. By the time these lifles appear in print he would have done a neat quiet job of sorting out the ethnic tangle in Sri Lanka. His solutions or recommended solutions may not meet the expectations of Uma Maheswaran and other Tamil Tigers, if they have any expectations from such trips and such formulas that is. Nevertheless, Parthasarathy is about to undertake as delicate and complex a job as the one he did as the Vice- Chancellor of the JNU. We do not mean sorting out the problems of that University! The reference is to the talks on Kashmir which he conducted then. Being an Iyengar Brahmin he would not arouse any undue suspicions on the part of the Sinhalese people. For them Tamil nationalism" is essen- tially the non-Brahmin, even anti- Bifchmin, nationalism of the Dravida Kazhagam variety. Ths is probably the reason why Jayewardene accepted his nomination. After all, a single Iyengar is much better than a host of Indians who, he had thought, would land in Sri Lanka and with whom he had solemnly proclaimed, "wo shall fight''.

Festival of the Non-Aligned

Festival of the Non-Aligned G P D NEW DELHI is full of 'non-alignment'. Seminars are being held to discuss the concept, special issues of the journals have been planned, daily newspapers are thinking of special supplements. The radio, certainly, talks hardly of anything else.

Sino-Soviet Straws in the Wind

SOVIET deputy foreign minister Leonid F Iilichev and his team stayed on in Beijing longer than most people expected. He was supposed to stay with the Soviet ambassador in Beijing, At the last minute the Chinese decided to be a little more hospitable and he became a state guest. The CCP has decided to normalise its relations with the French Communist Party. These are some (more) straws in the wind to indicate that the Chinese are willing to do business with everyone, the Soviet Union included. Parthasarathy is leading a delegation of eminent (and acceptable to government) social scientists to Beijing and is sure to bring back some news for Indira Gandhi. We have been arguing in these columns for a long time now that the Chinese book is not a closed book. It is worthwhile to talk business with them. It would be good if the acceptable social scientists under Partha- sarathys leadership also underlined the point.

Heart Not in It

Heart Not in It G P D THE sultry spell between Washington and Moscow must have been rather taxing for Indira Gandhi If the chief ministers cannot stay put in their respective capitals, it must be hard for the Prime Minister to stay long in Delhi. On top of it, this summer has been rather unpleasant, ja- gannath Mishra has come out with his famous bill and the opposition parties are shouting themselves hoarse over what, it seems, was no more than an imitation of Orissa and Tamil Nadu. The police went on rampage in Bombay and Bhonsale, who looks moro like that Sakara from the famous Sanskrit play the 'Earthem Cart', completely mishandled the business, Fortunately, the American trip was over. The longest strike in India's history is nowhere near its end. What does one do in such trying circumstances?

Chairman Mao is Not Our Chairman

Chairman Mao is Not Our Chairman..... G P D BARELY in the his lories of Communist parties would one find a Congress which had so little to say as the recently concluded 12th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. On the face of it it did many things. It proclaimed a new constitution for China. It created a new institution of the advisory council of elders or of those elders who have lost their political clout. It reaffinmed once again that China is determined to go ahead with its programmes of socialist modernisation. There is indeed a lot of talk of socialist this and socialist that in Hu Yaobang's report to the Congress. His report, in fact, has a quotation from Lenin as well saying that "Living creative socialism is the product or the masses themselves". It has all that needs to be said on discipline, organisation, training of cadres in Marxism, on the various levels of interests

Deadlocked over Taiwan

Deadlocked over Taiwan G P D ON August 17, the United States and China issued a Joint Communique on the question of Taiwan. The Communique is interesting in the sense that it achieves the impossible. On the one hand neither side has made any significant change in its known position

The Common Enemy

The Common Enemy G P D THE Israelis have asked for a total, unconditional surrender from the PLO. The nine thousand PLO men captured by them in Lebanon will not be given Prisoners of War status. That is the Israeli decision. Presumably they will be treated as ordinary criminals, Arafat has had no choice but to offer to shift the PLC's headquarters to Damascus provided, of course, that the Syrians agre? and the Israelis let them move there. Never before in its 35-year history was the Zionist state in such complete control of the situation.

Pages

Back to Top