India dismissed any apprehensions in Beijing about India forging closer ties with Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam to encircle China, saying these were stand-alone bilateral relations not predicated on any other country.
"Our relations exist in their own right. These are not predicated on any third country," Secretary (East) in the External Affairs Ministry, Latha Reddy, who is accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Kuala Lumpur, told reporters.
She was responding when pointed out that Chinese Communist party mouthpiece People's Daily had carried an editorial which said that India's efforts to build closer ties with Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam under 'Look East Policy' were aimed at encircling China.
The article came as Singh is on his three-nation tour of Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam. While the visit to Japan and Malaysia were bilateral, he is travelling to Vietnam tomorrow to attend ASEAN-India Summit and East Asia Summit. "We have valid bilateral relations with each of these countries and these are not predicated by ties with any other country," Reddy said. She underlined that India's 'Look East Policy' was not new but as old as 1950s.