Panchsheel Pact, also known as Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence, was in news recently in the months of June-July 2017 as China accused India of trampling on the Panchsheel principles by allegedly entering Chinese territory.
Both the nations are engaged in a diplomatic standoff in the Doklam or Donglang area near the Sikkim-Tibet-Bhutan tri-junction for the past 20 days after a Chinese army's construction party came to build a road in the region.
India blamed China's aggressive road building for the crisis, Indian side thinks that the construction of the road in Donglang will affect the status quo of the country.
On the other hand, China criticised India for misleading the public by alleging that a road being constructed near the Sikkim border could endanger Delhi's access to the region.
China also stated that the region where the road is being built is a part of its territory according to the 1890 Sino-British Convention, a treaty signed with Britain when it was a colonial power.
As per the Treaty, the Sikkim section of the boundary commences from East mountain, while the road building is taking place about 2000 meters away from Mount Gipmochi.
Bhutan is also engaged in talks with China over the resolution of the area. However, Bhutan has no diplomatic ties with China and it is supported militarily and diplomatically by India.
This ongoing border dispute has also affected the Kailash Mansarovar yatra after China closed the Nathu La pass in Sikkim for 50 pilgrims.
What is Panchsheel Pact or Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence?
Panchsheel Pact or Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence are a series of principles that have formed the basis of the relationship between India and China. The Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence are:
• Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty
• Mutual non-aggression
• Mutual non-interference
• Equality and mutual benefit
• Peaceful co-existence
The first formal codification of the Panchsheel Pact was in the form of agreement between both the countries for trade and association between Tibet Region of China and India.
This agreement was signed by then Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Chinese premier Zhou Enlai on 29 April 1954.
Later, the Panchsheel Pact was also incorporated into the Ten Principles of International Peace and Cooperation pronounced in the Declaration issued by the 1955 Bandung Conference.
The universal relevance of Panchsheel Pact was emphasised when United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) incorporated its principles in a resolution on peaceful co-existence, which was unanimously adopted on 11 December 1957.
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