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Pranab: China endorses Indo-US nuclear deal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 26
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said China had endorsed the Indo-US nuclear deal.
The minister also indicated that India would accept any nuclear deal between Pakistan and China as “the ground reality” and that India would not have serious objections about it.

Mr Mukherjee also expressed confidence that China would not stand in the way of the civil nuclear collaboration between India and the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). China is a member of the NSG-the 45-nation nuclear watchdog body whose approval is mandatory for the implementation of the deal.

Mr Mukherjee told CNN-IBN that the recent visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao was “reasonably satisfactory”.

Mr Mukherjee said certain positive achievements had been achieved during Hu’s recent India visit. Asked why the Joint Declaration issued after the four-day visit called Tibet an integral part of China but did not similarly repeat Chinese recognition of Sikkim as an integral part of India. Mr Mukherjee said, “It is not necessary... Because for obvious reasons to do with the presence of the Dalai Lama here.”

To another question if the Arunachal issue came up either in Hu Jintao’s direct discussions with the Prime Minister or in wider discussions with the government, the Foreign Minister said, “The Prime Minister did not mention it (but) it has been referred to adequately.” The minister was dismissive of apprehensions expressed by many experts and strategic analysts that China’s string of military and naval facilities stretching from the Coco Islands in the east through Tibet in the north to Gwadar in the west and down into the Indian Ocean amounted to a sort of military encirclement of India.

Asked about China’s closer political links with Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and the belief that China’s aim was to politically tie down India within the subcontinent and thus frustrate its ability to realise its full potential, Mr Mukherjee said he did not believe in the containment theory. “We have gone one step beyond that. We have invited China to be the observer of Saarc which they were not earlier.”



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