A controversy erupted after an invitation card for an Indo-Chinese event went viral on social media. The former Chief Minister of Karnataka and Congress leader Siddaramaiah along with Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong was mentioned as the Chief guests in a seminar. It also had some other Karnataka Congress leaders as key speakers.
The theme of the seminar – “Interference of US imperialist in the internal affairs of the People’s Republic of China” – raised many eyebrows as it was a direct attack on Indo-US relations.
The theme also questioned US backing for India on the issue of Chinese on and off incursions into Indian territory.
After much furore, the host India China Friendship Association Karnataka had to cancel the event leaving both Congress and Chinese embassy officials red-faced. Though Siddaramaiah had earlier distanced himself from the event.
- The event was organised by India China Friendship Association Karnataka.
- The seminar was entitled – “Interference of US imperialist in the internal affairs of the People’s Republic of China.”
- The invitation card became viral on various social media platforms.
- It was highly shared by BJP leaders who criticized Congress leader Siddaramaiah
- INC leader Siddaramaiah later clarified that he had declined the invitation and his name in the invite did not have his consent.
- The host India China Friendship Association Karnataka too later cancelled the event
BJP leaders were highly vocal as the invitation card was making rounds on social media.
“If anyone had any doubt that Congress works for China, this will clear their doubt”, tweeted CT Ravi, a BJP leader.
Further attacking Congress he wrote, “ Why should Congress side with China if America is interfering in its internal affairs?”
The BJP leader also questioned whether the MoU signed by Rahul Gandhi with CCP was the reason behind support to China.
On Saturday ( August 27 2022) former Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah said he was surprised after seeing his name on the invitation card of the event.
He tweeted, “I had declined the invitation of India-China Friendship Association to participate in their event which will be held tomorrow (August 28). It is surprising to see my name despite declining it.”
He further specified his reason for declining: “I declined to participate as my party’s & my position are against the agenda of the program.”
The Congress-Chinese Connection
The Congress party is often accused of being a soft supporter of China.
The accusations grew stronger after reports surfaced of an MoU signed by the Congress with the Chinese Communist Party in 2008.
The terms of the MoU were kept a secret but it was purportedly about information sharing and encouraging exchanges at all levels.
It was signed by the then Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi with Xi Jinping, who was then a Chinese Vice President.
Meetings and Accusations
Not only MoU but also the strong ties between the Chinese leadership and Rahul Gandhi have surfaced in multiple instances.
During the Doklam standoff in 2017, Rahul Gandhi had secretly met with Chinese Embassy officials in New Delhi.
Furthermore, the Chinese Ambassador was present when Rahul Gandhi departed from Delhi for Kailash Mansarovar in 2018.
A report revealed that The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation had received substantial sums of money from the CCP via the Chinese Embassy in 2006-06.
The several controversies surrounding the Congress and China have highly damaged the party’s reputation.