Deng Xiaoping

Promote the Friendship Between China and India and Increase South-South Cooperation


Published: October 22, 1982
Translated by: Unknown
Source: Deng Xiaoping Works
Transcription for MIA: Joonas Laine


Both China and India are developing countries, but they are not without importance in world affairs. They have the biggest populations: added together, they amount to 1.7 billion, more than one third of the world’s people. As the two countries are neighbours, we cannot afford not to understand each other and promote the friendship between us. In the mid-1950s we cooperated very closely. The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, jointly initiated by Premier Zhou Enlai and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, have been recognized the world over.

The problem between China and India is not a serious one. Neither country poses a threat to the other. The problem we have is simply about the border. Both countries should make an effort to restore the friendship that existed between them in the 1950s. As long as we go about it in a reasonable way, I think it will be easy for us to settle our border question. When I met your former foreign minister in 1979, I put forward a “package solution” to the problem. If both countries make some concessions, it will be settled. Because this question has a long history, you have to take into account the feelings of your people, and we also have to take into account the feelings of our people. But if the two sides agree to the “package solution”, they should be able to convince their people. We have settled border questions with many other countries simply by having both parties make concessions. I believe that we shall eventually find a good solution. Even if the border question cannot be resolved for the time being, we can leave it as it is for a while. We still have many things to do in the fields of trade, the economy and culture and can still increase our exchanges so as to promote understanding and friendship between us. The two countries have broad prospects for cooperation. We hope that we shall develop and that you will too.

We are very pleased that Third World countries have put forward the question of South-South cooperation. Of course, the question of relations between the South and the North should also be resolved. With the Third World so heavily in debt, how will its people be able to survive? If the developed countries don’t use their money to help the developing countries expand their economies, they won’t have any market in the Third World. The rich countries are getting richer and the poor ones are getting poorer. Solving this problem is a major international task. It will obviously be difficult. As a Chinese saying goes, the richer a man is, the meaner he is. Rich countries are reluctant to provide more money to the Third World, let alone transfer their technology to it. So it is not enough for the Third World to place its hopes on a change in relations between the South and the North. There must also be South-South cooperation. In one way or another, a certain range of problems can be solved through such cooperation. During recent years the Third World has developed to some extent. And every country has some good things to exchange with other countries and can cooperate with them. If we want to change the international economic order, we must, above all, settle the question of relations between the South and the North, but at the same time we have to find new ways to increase South-South cooperation.

(Excerpt from a talk with a delegation from the Indian Council for Social Sciences Research.)