Bangalore International Centre, in collaboration with Indian Council of World Affairs, had arranged a Book Release –cum- Discussion on “The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China- A Major Turning Point for China” by Amb. C V Ranganathan, IFS (Retd) Former Indian Ambassador to China, Ethiopia, and France; and Amb. Rajiv Kumar Bhatia, IFS (Retd), Director General, Indian Council of World Affairs. The event was chaired and moderated by Shri. A P Venkateswaran, Former Foreign Secretary. The event was held on Sunday, 25th August, 2013 at 6:30 pm.
Opening the discussions, Amb. Rajiv Kumar Bhatia outlined the role being played by ICWA in organizing discussions on several issues of strategic importance and providing inputs to the Government, and, in particular, to the Ministry of External Affairs. The book on the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, took shape on the basis of such studies Commissioned by ICWA. Amb. C V Ranganathan gave a detailed step-by-step evolution of the book through papers prepared by eminent Indian scholars and researchers and several rounds of discussions on the various facets of the changes which have been taking place in China. Amb.Ranganathan also outlined the schematic details of the contents of the book to highlight the changes which have come about and the manner in which such changes are introduced in China’s political and economic system. He pointed out that the institutional arrangements, laid down in Mao’s time, have remained unchanged and the Communist Party continued to be the final arbiter on policy issues. As a result, the Western-style of democracy has no place in China. However, intense discussions within the party, right down to the grass-root level, is now being encouraged and the inputs received are slowly being introduced at the policy level. The spectacular development in the industrial sphere has, however, been at the cost of the rural peasants and the over-all human development index is poor. The level of corruption and environmental degradation has also become abnormally high.
During the lively interactive session, which followed after the release of the book by Amb. A P Venkateswaran, it was generally agreed that while it is not easy for Indians to forget the trauma of 1962, it is worthwhile to recognise that faults lay on both the sides, and that the long-time strategic interests of both the countries would be best served if both the countries agree to cooperate and not confront each other. Amb.Venkateswaran moderated the discussion with aplomb and his customary wit. The event was very well attended.