On January 6, 150 comrades gathered at a five-star hotel in the capital to listen to a detailed presentation by Meng Xiangfeng, central committee member of the Chinese Communist Party (CPC) and confidante of President Xi Jinping.
Flanked by CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, CPI national secretary D Raja, and Chinese ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui on the dais, Meng gave a detailed presentation about the 19th party congress of the CPC held in October 2017.
The CPC delegation’s visit, facilitated by the government, was focused on building a narrative that bilateral ties are not only about disputes such as the tussle at the India-China-Bhutan-tri junction in Doklam or incidents of border incursions. The deliberations, said a leader present at the meeting, were centred around bilateral ties and friendly relations, apart from, of course, the outcome of the CPC party Congress and the future of Communism.
The CPC has close ties with all Indian parties, and the Left parties have more ideological proximity with them. But China’s seriousness about expanding its ties with Indian political parties, including the Left parties, was evident from the scale of the meeting attended by representatives of the Indian Left parties. Traditionally, such meetings used to happen in party offices. The meeting venue this time was chosen by the Chinese embassy in New Delhi.
“The meeting was about briefing us on the party congress, which is a routine practice among the communist parties among the world”, said Hannan Mollah, politburo member of the CPI(M).
Another Left leader said: “Whoever spoke from our side said that promoting healthy and steady bilateral ties would contribute to peace, stability, development in the region”.
The visit was part of an exchange programme between the International Liaison Department of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC) and the ministry of external affairs.
Before meeting the communist leaders, the Chinese delegation held meetings with Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis in Mumbai.
Met “Meng Xiangfeng,Member of Central Committee of Communist Party of China & discussed initiatives for IndoChina relations,provincial relations,increasing capabilities for better governance & on how India&China can become complementary powers for better world”, Fadnavis said in a tweet.
The delegation also met Congress president Rahul Gandhi . The delegation also met minister of state for external affairs V K Singh.
The Chinese embassy didn’t respond to e-mails seeking comment.