The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, also known in India as the Panchsheel Treaty are a set of principles to govern relations between states. Their first formal agreement was between China and India in 1954. Signed at Peking on 29 April 1954, this agreement stated the five principles as:
- Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
- Mutual non-aggression.
- Mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.
- Equality and mutual benefit.
- Peaceful co-existence.
It was assumed that the newly independent states would be able to develop a new and more principled approach to the international relations. The Five Principles have been adopted and formed the basis of the Non-Aligned Movement, established in Belgrade in 1961.
When dialogues between India and China started in December 1953, with respect to the disputed territories of Aksai Chin and South Tibet, China put these 5 principles as the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Agreement was signed between the two countries on April 1954 was to last for 8 years. At the end of which the relations had started souring between the two countries (India and China) and provision for renewal of the treaty was not taken up and the Sino-Indian War broke out between the two sides.