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Analysis: Indo-U.S. Ties Not To Hurt China

India is alread well armed, and with new American technology will an even bigger power to check Sino expansion.

New Delhi (UPI) Aug 05, 2005
India's warming relations with the United States would in no way impinge on its relations with China, Indian diplomatic analysts said Thursday.

"The joint India-U.S. statement covering nuclear civil areas and related discussion on space collaboration in no way impinges on New Delhi's relations with its neighbor China," senior diplomatic analyst Anand K. Sahay said.

He said China itself had commented on the new contours emerging in Indo-U.S. relations, as its own relations with the United States are deep.

After Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's recent visit to Washington, India's powerful left parties, on whose support Singh's government survives, expressed apprehension the United States had agreed to accommodate India's interests to contain China. The matter was raised in Indian Parliament by leftist lawmakers who sought a clarification from Singh.

"I wish to dispel this opinion that what we have done with the United States is at the cost of China or any other country," he Singh said in the lower house of Parliament Wednesday.

India and China marked 50 years of diplomatic relations this year. Both sides have made progress on various disputed issues, mainly relating to their common border, during the visit of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to New Delhi in April 2005.

During the visit, Singh and Wen conducted extended talks and announced their commitment to develop bilateral ties.

"India-China relations have acquired a global and strategic character," they said.

The joint statement released after the summit meeting noted the leaders of the two countries had agreed to establish an India-China strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity.

"The partnership is not a military alliance nor is it directed against a third country," said India's Foreign Secretary Shayam Sharan.

Relations between India and China have seen ups and down. The two Asian nuclear powers fought a brief war in 1962, which China won. After pushing Indian troops to within 30 miles of the Assam plains in the northeast and occupying points in northern Ladakh, China declared a unilateral cease-fire Nov. 21, 1962, and withdrew 12 miles behind its new line of control.

Relations between the two countries worsened during the rest of the 1960s and the early 1970s. During this period, China improved its relations with Pakistan while India pursued better ties with the Soviet Union.

Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi began a warming trend in Indo-Chinese relations during his visit to Beijing in December 1988. The two sides issued a joint communiqu¿ that stressed the need to restore friendly relations. They also agreed to broaden bilateral ties in various areas, working to achieve a fair and reasonable settlement while seeking a mutually acceptable solution to the border dispute.

Relations between two Asian giants strengthened when in January 1991 Beijing announced it favored only a negotiated solution to India's dispute with Pakistan over the Kashmir region, and opposed any form of independence for the area.

Indian businesses have also shown interest in India-China trade relations. Industrial groups from both sides have sought to broaden cooperation. Bilateral trade has been growing exponentially and stands at more than $13 billion.

"The gains from cooperation will certainly be tremendous, but only as long as China does not see India as a competitor," said N. Srinivasan, director general of the Confederation of Indian Industry, an industrial umbrella group.

Despite the improvements in Indo-China relations, however, Beijing has chosen to remain neutral about India's bid for a permanent seat in an expanded U.N. Security Council.

"Being P-5 member, China does not suffer from insecurity vis-¿-vis India or any of its other neighboring countries," Sahay said.

P-5 refers to the five permanent members of the U.N. decision-making body - Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

New closer relations between India and the United States, capped by a deal last month when President Bush agreed to supply India with civilian nuclear technology, a privilege extended so far only to countries that have signed on to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, has raised fears in New Delhi that India is being used as a counterbalance to China's growing global clout.

India's left parties took strong exception to the deal, saying relations with the United States were being improved at the cost of China. The lawmakers from two major Indian Communist parties, while raising the issue in Parliament, said India had fallen into trap laid by the United States over its military strategy for Asia. They said Washington had acknowledged India as a "responsible nuclear power country" to use New Delhi against China. Left and opposition National Democratic Alliance lawmakers also charged Singh of signing a secret deal with Washington, a charge he denied.

Singh said the government had not made any commitment on the ongoing negotiations on Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty other than those made by the previous NDA government. He said his objective was to widen India's developmental options.

"Our endeavor was to persuade the U.S. to lift the restrictions that hampered India's quest for faster access to nuclear energy," he said.

Indo-China relations are expected to be put to the test when India approaches the Nuclear Suppliers Group to buy nuclear civilian energy because China, as a member of the group, will have to take an open stand on whether India should be supplied energy or not.

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US-Indian Military Accord Does Not Compromise Security: Defence Minister
New Delhi (AFP) Aug 02, 2005
India's defence minister Tuesday defended a military pact with Washington signed in June that paves the way for joint weapons production and cooperation on missile defence, saying it did not compromise national security.

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