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As tensions are mounting between India and China amidst the ongoing aggression from Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control near Galwan Valley at Ladakh resulting in the death of 20 Indian soldiers and over 40 casualties on the Chinese side, there seems to be no-coherence between the opposition parties in the country as they have yet again resorted to cheap politicking of issues critical to national security.
At a time when the opposition parties, especially the Congress party has been castigating the Modi government over the ongoing standoff and subsequent Chinese aggression along the LAC on Monday resulting in the unfortunate death of Indian soldiers, more details are emerging regarding the intimate connection between the Congress party and the Communist Party of China (CPC) – the ruling and only political party in China.
The Congress party’s kid-glove treatment to China and the soft-condemnation against the Communist nation has now raised eyebrows as to know why the principal opposition party has been soft towards the hostile neighbour of the country. It is being said that the close connections between the Congress party and the CPC may be one of the reasons why the principal opposition party has now chosen to remain mute in attacking the Chinese and instead has been unleashing all its attacks against its own government.
Congress had signed a deal with the CCP to consult on ‘important issues’
One of the main reasons for the silence of the Congress party, perhaps, stems from the 7 August, 2008 agreement between the Sonia Gandhi-led Congress party and the Communist Party of China (CPC).
During UPA1 in 2008, the Congress party and the Communist Party of China (CPC) had signed a deal in Beijing for exchanging high-level information and co-operation between them. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) also provided the two parties with the “opportunity to consult each other on important bilateral, regional and international developments”.
Interestingly, the MoU was signed by the then Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi and on the Chinese side, it was signed by none other than Xi Jinping himself, who was then the Chinese vice-president and standing committee member of the CPC’s politburo. The MoU was signed in the presence of his mother and party president Sonia Gandhi.
Before the signing of the MoU, the then Congress president Sonia Gandhi and his son Rahul Gandhi had held a long meeting with Xi and other senior leaders of the Communist Party of China to discuss issues of mutual interest.
In 2008, Sonia Gandhi had visited Beijing along with Rahul, daughter Priyanka, son-in-law Robert Vadra and their two children to attend the opening of the Olympic Games. A year before, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi had also led a delegation of the Congress party to China.
The 2008 MoU between CCP and Congress came at a time when the Left parties in India had expressed lack of trust in UPA-1 government led by Congress. The India Today report suggests that even as China was aware of the political landscape in India, Xi Jinping went ahead and signed the pact with Congress as CCP wanted deeper ties with Congress, especially the Gandhi family.
Rahul Gandhi’s mysterious relationship with China
Not just the MoUs, but the close relationship between the Chinese leadership and the Congress party, especially Rahul Gandhi had also got highlighted just few years ago during the Doklam stand-off when Rahul Gandhi was caught secretly meeting Chinese officials.
The Gandhi-scion, not once but twice, was caught meeting Chinese officials, raising suspicion among the policymakers regarding the intent of his secretive meeting with the Chinese.
The first meeting had taken place in 2017, when Rahul Gandhi had a meeting with Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui, especially at a time when India and China were in the middle of a stand-off at Doklam. At first, the Congress party had denied such meetings and had termed news reports suggesting that the Gandhi-scion had indeed met Chinese officials as ‘fake news’.
However, Congress party had to face massive embarrassment after the Chinese embassy had themselves confirmed about the meeting between the then Congress vice president and the Chinese envoy.
This meeting was especially suspicious, because the Congress party and Rahul Gandhi, at that time were vehemently attacking the Indian government over their stand in the ongoing military standoff with China.
In 2018, Rahul Gandhi had himself revealed regarding the secret meeting with a couple of Chinese ministers during his trip to Kailash Mansarovar in September 2018. The meeting was kept secret initially but later Rahul Gandhi had revealed the details of the meeting accidentally leading to people to speculate even more as to why both the Congress party and China were trying to hide the meeting.
Rahul Gandhi, the then president of India’s main opposition party secretly meeting the government officials of China and taking steps to keep the meetings secret had raised quite a few eyebrows back then.
Congress party’s disapproval over Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s backlash against China
In another interesting turn of events, Congress leader and Leader of Congress party in Lok Sabha – Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, in May, had tweeted against China for its aggression along the LAC and had issued some warnings to China while praising the Indian forces.
The Congress leader, slamming China, warned the communist nation about how Indian forces can ‘defang the venomous snakes’ like China and stated that the entire world was watching the sinister designs of China while calling them “Yellow expansionist”. Chowdhury also urged the Modi government to accord to diplomatic recognition to Taiwan “without much delay”.
However, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury’s bluster against China did not last long. Congress Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury was forced to delete his tweet against China as it had reportedly did not please the Congress leadership.
After Chowdhury’s aggressive tweet against China, Rajya Sabha MP and senior Congress leader Anand Sharma had soon issued a clarification for the anti-China tweet made by the Congress leader Chowdhury.
Anand Sharma had tweeted, “The Indian National Congress recognises and values the special strategic partnership between India and China. As two ancient civilisations and large economies of the world, both countries are destined to make a significant contribution in the 21st Century.”
“The views of Congress Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury in China are his own and do not reflect the party position,” the Rajya Sabha MP had added.