Song Deheng, Chinese General Consul in Bombay, India, refuted Indian Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee's remarks, saying resolutely that China never invaded India.
Indian defense minister said at a defense workshop in Bombay on September 4 that China once "invaded" India in 1962.
On that day, Indian Merchants Chamber (IMC) held a workshop with the theme of "Role of Private Sector in Defense Preparedness". Indian Defense Minister Pranab Mukherjee attended and addressed the meeting. In his speech, he called on medium-sized and small enterprises to actively participate in the manufacturing and purchase in the field of national defense. He first introduced the ministry's policy of boosting military strength, and explained why India needs to actively prepare for war by raising the example that China once "invaded" India in 1962. At last, he expounded on the India-US defense agreement signed during his visit to the United States not long before.
When the minister was ready to answer questions, Chinese Consul General in Bombay Song Deheng stood up from the audience. He solemnly pointed out: "China never invaded India! As defense minister, Mr. Mukherjee should be better informed than other people concerning the background and situation at that time. It is untrue and irresponsible to say that China invaded India. Particularly, over 40 years later, today, when China and India enjoy much improved relations, it is even outdated to say that China "invaded" India therefore the minister, please do not use the word "invade".
India's major media all reported the accident, mostly in a plain and objective way. With titles like "Mukherjee's remarks provoke Chinese diplomat", the reports cited the remarks of the two officials but did not made biased comment on the thing itself. The reporter found only the Times of India, which is the most influential newspaper in India, carried an analytical report. With a title meaning India-China relations go well, the newspaper made such comments that Mukherjee's saying is simply reiterating that the defense ministry under his leadership is more conscientious than that in 1962 as it handles neighboring situations more cautiously especially when India's two neighbors, i.e. China and Pakistan, are cementing connections.
The report also points out, although Indian armies and Chinese People's Liberation Army have held exchanges in recent years, the two sides remain vigilant against each other.
Also, the report says, the two armies often have "standup encounters" along the border due to the two countries' "different understanding" of the actual control line, which has not been demarcated.
At last, the article holds, though Mukherjee did make such remarks, the smooth development of the relations between the two countries will not be affected. The article raises an example that India's former defense minister George Fernandes once described China as "India's No. 1 potential threat". However, back from China visit, he started to talk about cooperation not confrontation.
By People's Daily Online