India voices concern over Sino-Pak nuclear cooperation

Indian External affairs minister Salman Khurshid in an undated file photo

Indian External affairs minister Salman Khurshid in an undated file photo. File photo/Mint

By KJM Varma | PTI

BEIJING, China, 25 September 2013

India has flagged concerns over Sino-Pak nuclear cooperation and China’s assistance in building infrastructure in PoK ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s planned visit here next month.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid also sought to allay China’s anxieties over India’s close relations with the US and Japan, saying both these countries were not asking New Delhi to participate in an encircling manoeuvre against China.

Talking about “periodic issues of divergence” during an interview to a delegation of Chinese journalists, Khurshid said, “Our concern in China’s relationship with Pakistan is about the impact on nuclear non-proliferation.”

Noting that China has a very important relationship with Pakistan, Khurshid, in a tacit reference to PoK, said “the other concern is that the extent to which your (Chinese) collaboration and help to them is concentrated in the area that we believe they have occupied forcibly.”

In the interview, published in the state-run Global Times here today, Khurshid said both India and China had strong fundamentals to build sustainable relations.

“These fundamentals include complementarities between our two economic and social structures”, he said.

“They include imperatives of working closely together in the world on many issues that are of important common interests” besides issues “essentially pertaining to our region, and also about our perceptions of an equitable global system”, Khurshid said.

To a question on how US-Japan’s efforts to “win” over India affect Sino-Indian ties, Khurshid said “nobody, neither the Japanese nor the Americans, has told us to participate in an encircling manoeuvre against China.”

“India and China celebrate the relationship as strategic comprehensive partnership. They don’t say to us why you are doing this. Because if they did, we would say, ‘Why do you deal with China?’, he said.

China’s biggest investment is from Japan and the biggest debt is owed by the US, Khurshid pointed out.

He said that “if they are dealing with you in their best interest, why shouldn’t we be dealing with you? Why should we subject ourselves to someone else?”

“We are very clear. We have an open and honest relationship with China. We also have an open and honest relationship with the US and Japan,” Khurshid said.

“When there are differences between you, we think and we always advise that we should not get involved. It’s best if those matters are settled through dialogue,” he said.

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