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Sino-India defence dialogue to be held as planned: Krishna

November 29, 2011 15:38 IST

Postponement of Sino-India border talks between Special Representatives notwithstanding, India on Tuesday said its high-level defence dialogue with China would take place next month as planned earlier.

"I think, we expect whatever is in the pipeline will continue," External Affairs Minister S M Krishna told reporters on the sidelines of Passport Officers' Conference in New Delhi.

He was responding to a question on whether the defence dialogue between India and China, scheduled to be held in New Delhi on December 8 and 9, would take place and if it help resume military exchanges between the two countries.

Defence secretaries of India and China would meet here on those two days and discuss issues of mutual interest.

The comments of Krishna, who met India's Ambassador to China S Jaishankar this morning, assume significance in the wake of the talks between Special Representatives of India and China scheduled to have taken place on Monday and on Tuesday being postponed.

The talks were postponed after China objected to the presence of the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama at a Buddhist conference in New Delhi.

"Our Ambassador to China was in New Delhi for regular consultations with the Foreign Office. He had also come prepared to assist the government if the talks between Special Representatives of India and China discussing the border issues were to be held. I think, now the meeting is postponed," he said.

"He (the Ambassador) served the useful purpose of exchanging views with the Foreign Office," he said.

On comments by former Pakistan Foreign Minister S M Qureshi that the country's nuclear weapons were not safe under Asif Ali Zardari regime, Krishna termed it as an "internal affair" of another country and that it was for them to settle it.

Asked whether the nukes in Pakistan were safe, Krishna said, "Well, we go by the government of Pakistan. We go along with the assurances given by the government there."

Both China and India have been feeling anxious about being "circled," it said, apparently referring to India's concerns over China making forays into its neighbourhood and  China's anxieties over India developing close ties with countries such Vietnam, which are putting strong resistance to China's claims over the South China Sea.

"But their roles are different in each other's eyes. For India, China is the plotter and executor of this 'scheme' (of encirclement) whereas for China, India is a participant to this theory," the editorial said.

It, however, said that the "insecurity" from both countries is not on the same level and that India where "nationalistic sentiment" is strong has been "eagerly seeking" acknowledgement worldwide.

"It (India) claims that India is on the 'first tier' of the world even though the country is still developing. India has been eagerly seeking this acknowledgement worldwide.

Although the US has given the country a first tier diplomatic formality, the 'elephant' is not satisfied. "What it really wants is the first-tier growth rate and statistics that match China's," it said.

It said China which has not taken India seriously in the past should do so from now on.

"India will not allow itself to stay quietly between the US and China. It wants to play triangle affairs with the duo, and will do anything it can to maximise its benefit out of it.

Therefore, China will find it hard to buy India over. It needs to treat the South Asian country seriously," it said.

"The US has been persuading India to join its alliance against China, and issues between China and India, such as border disputes and the Dalai Lama, are difficult to solve. Therefore, China's relation with India will face a tough road ahead. But India's ambition of becoming a strong power, as well as its economy-driven policy, will help stave off these uncertainties.

"This ensures that China's relations with India will not be the worst among neighbouring countries," it said.

"Both countries should stay calm and not take small issues to a level of strategic hostility. India's power and its development will not make it a strategic enemy to China," it said.

Both countries should avoid overreacting to their disputes, but that does not mean these issues should be hidden away.

"What we need to do is not aggravate it," it said.

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