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'US suggested India blow up Chinese installations in Tibet'
September 10, 2007 14:02 IST
The United States had asked India to threaten China with military action if it did not remove defence installations from Tibet, a new book has revealed.
The suggestion was made by the then US Ambassador Chester Bowles in 1964, during his discussions with India's political leadership including then prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, claims India & the United States: Politics of the Sixties, a book written by senior journalist Kalyani Shankar.
In a top secret letter to McGeorge Bundy, special assistant to the then US President Lyndon Johnson, Bowles had said that the "ominous development of Chinese nuclear weapons can be made to serve our political purposes here in India".
The ambassador said that during his discussions with Shastri, T T Krishnamachari, Y B Chavan and Morarji Desai, he had referred vaguely to information about a testing installation in West China which they had received from other sources.
"India could take a position similar to ours in Cuba, i.e. an ultimatum to the Chinese to remove such installations from Tibet or to see them blown up by the Indian Air Force," Bowles said in the letter dated September 16, 1964.
According to him, other options before India were to go for its own deterrent capability or reach an understanding with the US for a nuclear umbrella similar to the those provided to Japan [Images], the Scandinavian countries and other nations.