China, India relations aren’t externally driven
July 7, 2010

Belittling the brouhaha about China’s nuclear alliance with Pakistan, India’s unfriendly neighbor, Shiv Shankar Menon on Tuesday said India and China have “a relationship which is not externally driven”.  India’s National Security Advisor and Special Envoy to China was talking to mediapersons after meeting China’s premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing.

The statement short yet significant reveals the immense depth and breadth of China and India’s relationship. With the axis of the world-changing towards the emerging economies of Asia, it is vital to realise that the understanding that China and India have of each other is exclusive and does not include the opinions of so-called experts around the world. Seeped in history, ravaged by the present, China and India share a bond that only the Chinese and Indian’s seem to understand. Our moments blow between being friends and foes, yet we realise that internationally we need to support each other for together we are stronger.

The relationship China and India share is not mired by the US, Pakistan, Russia or Japan. While we might forge global alliances with nations the other doesn’t trust, it doesn’t mean we are undermining the bond between us.  Nuclear weapons, trade disputes and the border issue might be contentious issues now, but as India and China’s diplomatic elite look at it, it’s just a small hiccup. There are broader issues of where China and India collectively are steering the world that have Premier Wen and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh more excited.

To demonstrate how trivial the nuclear issue was for India, Menon who has spoken to China about selling nuclear arms to Pakistan on several occassions, said The attention on the deal, was misplaced. “This was not the whole point of the visit,” he stressed, adding: “This took less than two and a half sentences in the whole visit.”

The Hindu reported – “We’re no longer in an either-or, zero-sum game kind of situation,” Mr. Menon said. “Our relationship with China is not dependent on the state of our relations with Pakistan, or vice versa. And judging by what we have seen in practice over the last few years, I think that is also true of China. Nowhere in my talks was there any such linkage [made] by them, or by us.”

He said an increasing convergence of interests on the global stage, on issues such as climate change, energy security and trade, was in some sense bringing the countries closer. They had moved into “a new stage of the relationship,” where they were engaging on a broader set of issues of global relevance.

Echoing broadening their scope of work Premier Wen Jiabao said “A healthy, stable and dynamic China-India relationship is of far-reaching significance to the two nations, Asia and the whole world at large.”


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