Congress signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Communist Party of China (CPC) on August 7, 2008.
The document was signed between the general secretary of Congress Rahul Gandhi and Wang Jiarui, International Department of CPC in the presence of Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Vice-President of China Xi Jinping and Congress Leader Anand Sharma (who later became the Minister for Commerce and Industry of India)
Nobody in India is aware of details or the contents of the MoU signed between Congress and CPC. It has remained secret pact for the last 12-years. It has never been discussed in a political discourse. I wonder why.
Sonia Gandhi in an interview with a Chinese news agency – Xinhua, broadly discussed the contours of the Congress and CPC relationship without revealing the document in entirety.
She stated China has already emerged as India’s largest trading partner. She called for stepping up exchanges among younger leadership in Congress and CPC to enhance mutual understanding in promoting trade, infrastructure building, investments, international cooperation at multilateral levels, regional cooperation, employment generation and environment protection.
But interestingly Sonia Gandhi has never mentioned about the Congress – CPC pact in an interview with any Indian publication or news channel. I wonder why, if there was nothing to hide.
The Congress – CPC pact is real. Sonia Gandhi herself had confirmed about this 2008 Congress-China pact in the interview with the Chinese news agency Xinhua in 2011.
Also Congress leader Anand Sharma who was present at the signing of this secret MoU in 2008, took to social media to confirm that Congress had indeed signed a pact of youth delegation exchanges earlier this week.
Something transpired between Congress and CPC that we Indians have not been made aware off because we do not know the details of the MoU. If there was nothing to hide. Congress should have made this document public. But they have not done that. Even now they will not make the document public after much questions being raised by media and the ruling BJP.
To me what is even more disturbing is that Sonia Gandhi did not need to sign a party to party agreement with China, if her genuine interest was to further India’s interest. She was UPA Chairperson, it was a Congress-led coalition government, India and China could have signed a nation to nation MoU.
My analysis has led me to the conclusion that Congress – CPC pact of 2008 signed a deliberate death kneel to India’s growth story in particular of the MSME industry. India became the dumping ground of mediocre products from China and Indian MSME dreams were crushed.
India’s trade deficit with China from FY 2010 of USD 20 billion dollars to FY 2020 totalled USD 48.6 billion according to a study by Motiwal Oswal Financial Services. This indicates that India witnessed a massive surge in the dependence of goods from China.
Several sectors that could have relied on homegrown and indigenous MSME companies, started to develop linkages with China. Auto, Consumer durables, Pharmaceuticals, Telecom, Chemicals and Renewable Power Sector (solar) seem to be the most dependent in terms of sourcing from China.
For example : For the FY 19-20, 99.7 per cent of the chemical compound crucial to making life-saving antibiotics came to India from China.
Several media reported that in 2019-20, India sent goods worth USD 15.5 billion to China, covering 3,284 product categories as per an 8-digit export-import classification code. The same year, China shipped USD 62.4 billion of goods to India, covering 6,809 product categories. For India, that’s a negative trade balance of $46.9 billion.
For the period between April 2019 and February this year, China accounted for 11.8 per cent of India’s total imports. India’s total exports to China was a mere 3 per cent. Clearly, we buy more from China than we sell. The pact between Congress and CPC gave China this advantage.
In 2004-2005, India’s trade deficit with China stood at USD 1.5 billion. Today it stands at USD 48.6 billion.
The growth of trade deficit between India and China could be attributed to two factors: a narrow basket of commodities, mostly primary, that we export to China and market access impediments for most of our agricultural products and the sectors where we are competitive in, such as pharmaceuticals, IT/ITeS, etc.
India’s predominant exports have consisted of cotton, copper and diamonds/ natural gems. Over time, these raw material-based commodities have been overshadowed by Chinese exports of machinery, power-related equipment, telecom, organic chemicals, and fertilisers.
The intriguing aspect of the Congress – CPC pact that was signed in 2008 is that the sowing of the seeds started in 2005 when India’s trade deficit with China was USD 1.5 billion. Incidentally in 2005, Rajiv Gandhi Foundation started to receive donations from Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in India and even from the government of China.
Rajiv Gandhi Foundation is controlled by Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra. The Congress party is controlled by Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra. Congress signs a party-to-party deal with CPC not a nation-to-nation deal, even though Congress under UPA was leading the government. India trade story starts to decline and China growth story in India starts to climb northward.
The Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies (RGICS) functions as a think-tank. In April 2009, RGICS Fellow Mohammad Saqib carried out a feasibility study, ”India-China: Free Trade Agreement (FTA)”, in association with Purnachandra Rao.
The main objective of the study was to gain a better understanding of an FTA between India and China, analyse various trade issues and identify who would stand to gain and lose from such an agreement. The report concluded that China would be the greater beneficiary in all trade dimensions because of the efficiency of its economy.
The study concluded that “There are always losers and gainers in the regional and free trade agreements. India and China can balance the gains and losses through an FTA. Therefore both governments should decide to enter into FTA negotiations. The proposed FTA between India and China will be feasible, desirable and mutually beneficial. An FTA between India and China should also be comprehensive, with a free flow of goods, services, investments and capital.”
Sonia Gandhi sold India’s interest to China. She killed India’s big potential MSME sector and took us back by 10-years on the minimum. That is her crime.
The allegations of corruption levelled by BJP is nothing compared to the deliberate destruction of the MSME sector and giving unfair advantage to China through the FTA.
GoaChronicle.com team has filed a petition in SC to make the Congress – CPC 2018 MoU document public. It has also demanded a NIA probe into this grave act of an attempt to destabilise India’s economy and make in dependent on China.
All I can say now is that Sonia Gandhi! India will never forgive you for selling India’s interest to China. If BJP does not act against you, people of India will fight for justice.