UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

India and the Far East since 1947 Dhillon, Pritam Singh


As soon as India attained freedom in 1947, the fundamental problem facing her was internal and not external. Naturally, the Indian leaders were concerned more about her domestic problems than foreign. The communal disturbances which immediately followed the partition of the country, made it difficult for the Government to maintain law and order in certain parts. Moreover, the economic situation went from bad to worse after independence. Free India had to tackle the tremendous problem of providing her vast population with the necessities of life, like food, clothing and housing. The Government of India was fully aware of these difficulties and the economic weakness of the country. It was under these circumstances that the leaders of free India had to determine the objectives of India's foreign policy. The difficult situation at home and the desirability of obtaining economic and technical assistance from abroad, made the pursuit of peace one of the great objectives of India's foreign policy. Other objectives were to work for the ending of colonialism and Imperialism throughout the world and the elimination of racial discrimination. In order to carry out these objectives successfully, the statesmen of India felt that they must give full support to the United Nations and follow an independent foreign policy. But India decided to continue her historical connections with the Commonwealth of Nations because she owed common allegiance to a particular way of life and ideal of State and Government. With regard to her policies in the Far East, India developed friendly relations with Communist China. She was one of the first countries who recognised the People's Republic of China. Although these friendly relations were disturbed in 1950 over Tibet, India continued to press for the representation of Communist China in the U.N. Nevertheless, she seems to be aware of the principal potential threat of this large neighbour to her security. For this reason, and others, India wishes to see Japan a strong sovereign state in Asia. In the case of Korean problem, India supported the U.N. action branding the North Koreans as aggressors, but she could not send any economic and military support. However an ambulance and surgical unit was sent to join the U.N. forces. As soon as the United Nations forces pushed the aggressor back across the 38th Parallel, the issue, according to Indian leaders, was no more an issue of resistance to aggression. From this time on India was reluctant to support any such action of U.N. which might prolong and extend the conflict. At the same time she began to work for some kind of peaceful solution of the Korean situation. Although she could not succeed in obtaining her objective completely, negotiations between the parties in dispute did begin which brightened the prospects for peace.

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