M A I N   N E W S

PM: China won’t obstruct N-deal
‘Together we can change the world’
Shastri Ramachandaran
Tribune News Service

On Board Prime Minister's Special Aircraft, January 15
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is optimistic that China will not be an obstacle when the matter of fuel supply for the Indo-US civil nuclear deal goes before the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). However, he said, “I cannot say that I have an assurance today”.

China is an important and influential member of the 45-member NSG.

Talking to journalists, on the way back from his three-day visit to Beijing, the Prime Minister said, “We have requested China to support us when the matter goes before the IAEA Board of Governors and the NSG”.

The answer he got from both President Hu Jintao and premier Wen Jiabao with whom he held discussion was that they would support civil nuclear co-operation with India. However, this would be consistent with their non-proliferation obligations.

“I cannot say that I got a firm answer. But my whole feeling is that we are succeeding in establishing a relationship of trust and confidence. When the issue comes up from the relevant agencies I don’t think that China will be an obstacle,” said Manmohan Singh.

To a question whether time was running out and there was any deadline for completing the processes with the IAEA and NSG, he said, “there is no deadline”.

Meanwhile, earlier in the day while speaking at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing on “India and China in the 21st Century”, the Prime Minister spoke of the “imperative need” for a collective fight against terrorism and extremism. He said India and China should be at the forefront of the emergence of a more democratic global order and of multilateral approaches to resolving global issues.

“Today’s international institutions, like the UN Security Council, no longer reflect reality and must be democratised”, he said. The greatest danger to our development comes from extremism of all types, whether in the garb of religion or on the pretext of righting historical wrongs. “Recent developments in our neighbourhood have brought home to us again the imperative need to collectively fight terrorism and extremism in all its forms. The rise of non-state actors often based on intolerance, and narrow conceptions,” he added.

The Prime Minister highlighted three key focus areas for India and China to work together closely: Bridging the “knowledge gap, expanding cooperation in a broad range of functional sectors and harnessing our strengths and synergies. We need to make much more sustained effort to ensure proper awareness of each other, especially in the matter of contemporary developments. We need to have more people-to-people contacts to remove misconceptions and prejudices. We need a broad-based comprehensive dialogue at the level of intelligentsia, media, non-governmental professionals and the worlds of culture and the arts”.

On the second focus area, he said India and China could learn from each other’s national developmental experiences. “We would like to learn from China’s success in the creation of physical infrastructure, strategies to productive employment outside the agriculture sector and poverty alleviation.”

Agency adds: While talking to journalists on his way back home after the three-day visit to China the Prime Minister said all factors would be taken into account before taking a decision on raising the prices of petroleum products.

“We have not taken a decision. All factors will be taken into account before a decision is taken.”

Singh was replying to a question that whether the government could keep avoiding a decision on this issue.

Asked whether the issue would come up in the Cabinet meeting on January 17, the Prime Minister said he had not yet seen the agenda for the Cabinet meeting.

Asked whether Parliamentary elections would take place in this year or in 2009, Manmohan Singh said he was not an astrologer but sincerely hoped that his government would have a chance to complete the full term.

On reports of new States Reorganisation Commission being constituted, he said there was a Congress Working Committee recommendation made in this regard three years ago but no decision had been taken.

Asked about the chances of a Cabinet reshuffle after Republic Day, the Prime Minister said, “you will come to know when we do it.”

Earlier, while wrapping up his visit on an upbeat note, Manmohan Singh said the simultaneous rise of India and China will be beneficial not only for the two countries but also for Asia and the world. Before returning home, Singh called on Chinese President Hu Jintao, who congratulated the Prime Minister for the success of his “short but very productive” maiden visit to the country.

Meanwhile, China today favoured an “equitable and fair” solution to the boundary issue with India in the overall interests of both countries, saying it should not be allowed to hamper progress in bilateral ties.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |