china jagat s mehta
Engaging with China
Competition between the uncaged elephant and the inscrutable dragon is inevitable. Jagat Mehta paints the history of encounters on a wider canvas of the civilisational identities and ideological aspirations of India and China.
My interaction with China started when I was transferred as deputy secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs in 1956. The deputy secretary (East) had four sections under him. They were Nepal (N), Bhutan, Sikkim and Tibet (BST), East Asia (EA) which dealt with China, Japan, Mongolia and North and South Koreas, and of course NEFA. China as part of the eastern division was the least burdensome. Reports did come from Tokyo and Peking (now Beijing), but the order sections took up most of the time. My chief concern was NEFA.
In September 1957, I was chosen to accompany Vice-President S Radhakrishnan. This particular tour was to cover South and North Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, the Mongolian Republic and China. The last was, no doubt, the most important. Until this posting, I had never been east of Calcutta (now Kolkata). READ MORE