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India not part of 'contain China' effort: PM
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January 10, 2008 21:30 IST

India is not part of any 'so-called contain China' effort and its engagement with Beijing [Images] is an imperative necessity, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] said in New Delhi on Thursday.

"I have made it clear to the Chinese leadership that India is not part of any so-called contain China effort," he told reporters when asked about the four-nation security dialogue among the United States, Japan [Images], Australia and India.

Singh, who is making his maiden visit to China as Prime Minister from Sunday, said there is no misunderstanding between India and China on the proposed dialogue among the four nations which, he added, "never got going".

China has been looking at the quadrilateral talks with suspicion and had even asked the countries to explain the reason for this arrangement which, it felt, propagated cold-war mentality.

"China is our largest neighbour and in many ways, engagement with China is an imperative necessity," Singh said.

Singh, who will hold talks with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao and call on President Hu Jintao during his three-day visit, said, "We will discuss all issues with frankness and friendship. Engagement with China is a priority".

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