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Ramesh's apology understandable: Chinese analyst

May 12, 2010 17:56 IST

Amid a row over Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh's remark describing Home Ministry's approach towards Chinese investments in India as "alarmist", a top analyst in Beijing has said his "apology" was "understandable".

"Ramesh is one of the politicians who advocate friendly Sino-Indian cooperation. His supportive remarks toward Chinese products are encouraging," said Zhao Gancheng, Director at the Department of South Asia Studies of the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies.

"However, his criticism of the Home Ministry seemed to be questioned by the central government and the Indian public.

Therefore, it is understandable for him to make an apology to the relevant departments," Zhao was quoted as saying by the state-run Global Times.

About alleged intrusions by Chinese Army into Indian territory, he said it was purely speculative.  "The story, without confirmation by Indian officials, indicates that some Indian people maintain a prudent stance toward sensitive or negative information related to Sino-Indian ties," Zhao said.

The expert said although speculations have limited effects on governmental decision-making processes, it could impact public opinion in India toward China in the long term.

In his comments on the reports of incursions, Sun Shihai, a South Asia studies expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the China Daily that such media speculation will only escalate negative sentiments.

"It's challenging to thoroughly settle the LAC (Line of Actual Control) issue and it certainly takes a long time, but we have to keep a strategic view," Sun told the state run daily.

The most important thing is for Beijing and New Delhi to discuss how to avoid conflicts. "Conflicts are likely in future if hostile sentiments keep building between the two peoples, and that's dangerous and won't do China or India any good.

Now there's a push for officials to talk about what can be done to prevent such threats and maintain peace together," Sun said.

Fu Xiaoqiang, a scholar of South Asian studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said Sino-Indian relations would not be affected by such reports. "The two countries currently enjoy good diplomatic ties and military frictions are unlikely," Fu said, adding they still need each other's support in many fields.

Jiang Yu, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, on Tuesday dismissed the reports of incursions, saying Beijing was committed to solving the vexed boundary issue through talks and would maintain peace along the border.

K J M Varma in Beijing
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