MEA throws open its archives to scholars on China

March 19th, 2009 - 10:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) In a step that is sure to enthuse Indian experts on China, the external affairs ministry is now ready to provide scholars access to its digitalised archives that could throw new light on New Delhi’s relationship with Beijing in the 1960s and 1970s.
“We do give access to bona fide scholars to consult MEA archives which are now digitalised,” Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon told journalists here Thursday.

“Anything older than 30 years we are ready to provide access to,” Menon said while calling for “more objective and nuanced scholarship” on China.

Menon was speaking at the launch of “India-China Relations: The Border Issue and Beyond,” at the Observer Research Foundation, a public policy think tank. The book has been co-authored by Mohan Guruswamy and Zorawer Daulet Singh.

Lavishing praise on the book, which he singled out as an outstanding work of scholarship, Menon underlined the need for rethinking the fundamentals of India-China relationship.

“The rise of China is a strategic challenge for India. Likewise, the rise of India is a strategic challenge for China,” Menon said.

Last year, China’s foreign ministry declassified a third batch of diplomatic archives dating from 1961 to 1965 containing 41,097 items, almost 70 percent of the archives for the period. The files include referendums, reports, recorded conversations, telegrams, notes, memoirs and documents signed by state and party leaders.

The archives included some items that revealed the reason behind China’s sudden call for truce in its border war with India in late 1962.

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