As of now, while writing this – on September 18, 2014

Owing to the checkered history of India-China bilateral ties, there have been very few state-level visits. Now with initiatives of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping, there is a sense of optimism that the process to set the relation back of track can begin now. While searching for information in the context of Xi’s visit to India from the concerned government platform, the Ministry of External Affairs, I came across this interesting anomaly.

The link has sub-links to ‘the Briefs on India’s Bilateral Relations’. Clicking on each country’s name opens a PDF file with a primer on information pertaining to the bilateral relations between India and that particular country. The format usually categorizes information in sections like Political Relations, Visits of Heads of States/Heads of Governments, Other High Level Visits, Major Dialogue Mechanisms, Commercial and Economic Relations, Defence Relations, Cultural Relations and Education Relations.

The information packets hosted here, being on the official gateway of India’s foreign relations, are expected to reflect every major milestone in the bilateral relations, and need to be updated scrupulously.

With this thought in mind, I clicked the sub-link to the file on China. And the sub-link indeed had a good file with neatly packed information to serve as a useful primer. And the link told me it was updated this month only (China_September_2014). But while going through it, I came across a serious flaw.

I thought it would be rectified soon as the Chinese President was come calling on Wednesday and China-related information on official platforms would be looked into and updated. But it wasn’t. I visited the link and the file on September 15, on September 16, on September 17, and today, on September 18. But the missing information has not been updated in this basic file and Mr. Xi Jinping is leaving tomorrow.

Here are the screen shots of the file that I captured yesterday (and which don’t show the expected changes yet).




The file has no mention of the visit of Jiang Zemin, the first visit by a Chinese President/Head of the State to India. Even the visit of President R. Venkataraman to China in 1992 doesn’t figure in the file. This is when it was indeed a milestone making visit of a President of the People’s Republic of China who is referred to as the Paramount Leader of China; someone who is described as the core of the third generation of the Communist party leaders.

It is an anomaly that should be corrected and I would write to the Ministry for the same. The information is available in a different MEA file of 2012 obtained from a different, indirect link (

Similar is the state of affairs when one tries the Indian Embassy in China website The direct link to the file ( doesn’t mention R Venkataraman and Jiang Zemin visits, but the information is available on a different, indirect link, reached at through Google ( The file from the direct link was last updated in January while the other file has no information on its last update.

Here are the screen shots.

India-China Bilateral Relations >> Political Relations



India-China Bilateral Relations >> Political Relations



The old files have the information but it cannot account for the missing piece in updated, direct links. I am going to inform them, the Ministry people. Let’s see what happens.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –

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