India’s Congress party and the Communist Party of China (CPC) on August 7, 2008 signed a secret deal for exchanging high-level information and co-operation between them, in Beijing. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) also provides the two parties the opportunity to consult each other on important bilateral, regional and international developments.
The Secret ‘Deal’
The MoU was signed by the Chinese vice-president and standing committee member of the CPC’s politburo, Xi Jinping, and Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi in the presence of his mother and party president Sonia Gandhi at the Great Hall of the People.
Before the signing of the MoU, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi held a meeting with Xi and other senior leaders of the Communist Party of China and held discussions on issues of mutual interest, the sources said.
The fact that China, though aware of the recent developments in India, decided to go ahead and sign this document shows it is trying to build a relationship with the Congress, and the Nehru-Gandhi family, in particular, that goes beyond the UPA government.
Sonia Gandhi was visiting Beijing along with Rahul, daughter Priyanka, son-in-law Robert Vadra and their two children to attend the opening of the Olympic Games. In October 2007, Sonia Gandhi and her MP son Rahul had led a delegation of the Congress party to China. They were the first visitors invited to China after the Communist Party of China ended its party congress.
On last September 24, 2019 Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and the Communist Party of China (CPC) have signed a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Chief of NCP (NCP)’s Foreign Affairs Department, Madhav Kumar Nepal and Chief of International Liaison Department of CPC, Song Tao signed the MoU regarding the establishment of fraternal relations between the two parties of the neighbouring nations.
Opposition parties including CPI(M) questioned the MoU signed by the Congress party at the behest of Nehru-Gandhi family.
China’s Military Leadership
It is to be remembered that Chairman Xi Jinping’s appointment as Party General Secretary and CMC (Central Military Commission) Chairman in 2012 and his selection as President in the spring of 2013 represented the first simultaneous transfer of all three of China’s top positions to an incoming leader in recent decades. Xi was reappointed to his Party positions at the 19th Party Congress and was reappointed president in spring 2018 at the National People’s Congress. The same meeting also granted approval to remove presidential term limits, allowing Xi to potentially remain president beyond his second term. In 2016, Xi was announced as the commander-in-chief of the CMC’s Joint Operations Command Center and was named “core” leader of the CCP Central Committee. Prior to becoming CMC Chairman, Xi served as the CMC’s only civilian Vice-Chairman under Hu Jintao. Xi’s father was an important military figure during China’s communist revolution and was a Politburo member in the 1980s. The younger Xi served as an aide to a defense minister early in his career and had regular interactions with the PLA (Peoples Liberation Army) as a provincial Party official. In meetings with U.S. officials, Xi has emphasized improving military-to-military relations between China and the United States.
China’s Military Attaché
China manages its day-to-day overseas military diplomacy work using PLA officers assigned as military attachés in over 110 offices worldwide. China’s military attaché presence has grown around the world, which reflects China’s increasing global interests. China’s military attachés serve as military advisors to the ambassador, support Ministry of Foreign Affairs and PLA foreign policy objectives, and perform a variety of duties tied to PLA military and security cooperation, including counterpart exchanges with host-nation and third-country personnel. Military attachés also conduct clandestine and overt intelligence collection on their countries or areas of assignment. Although the general function of an attaché office is the same worldwide, some attaché offices probably prioritize specific missions or diplomatic priorities due to close bilateral relations or other factors.
China’s military attaché offices vary in size, generally ranging from two to ten PLA officers. Most offices consist of just a few accredited officers; however, offices in countries considered important to China’s strategic interests are often considerably larger, potentially including multiple assistant attachés, dedicated naval or air force attachés, and support staff.