Most in China donít even think of 1962: Noted Chinese historian

The 1962 India-China war may be a sore point for Indians but that's not the case with the neighbouring country, Prof Wang Gungwu, who is a professor at the National University of Singapore and Chairman of East Asian Institute, told The Indian Express on Tuesday. "Most in China don't even think about it. Still others won't know about 1962 and what happened. Most people in China think it was misunderstanding between leaders...I do know though that in India that is not the case. This I think is the complexity of having a dialogue when one side does not think much of an issue which is quite a key one to the other," Prof Wang Gungwu said along the sidelines of a talk he gave on "The Rise of China: A historian's perspective" in New Delhi on the invitation of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, ahead of Chinese Premier Wen Jia Bao's visit on Wednesday.

India and China have much to discuss and share and "there should be no difficulty" in doing so, says noted the Chinese historian. Prof Wang Gungwu pointed out that the whole boundary issue between India and China along with the Tibet issue was a legacy of negotiations with a British India and so the need is felt at times for revisiting it. Tracing back civilizational ties between India and China to the early 4th-5th Century BC, he said these relations were always very cordial and peaceful.

"There are not many problems with India. In fact, China and India were isolated from each other for years. It was largely considered a saintly spiritual place by the Chinese. China, in fact, did not have much to do with India. Yes, there was trade but largely with the Indian Muslims ó mostly Tamil Muslims. China did not really know much of India," he observed.

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