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China has chance to explain Ladakh incursion: Ex-envoy
KV Prasad
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 18
Suggesting that the recent Ladakh incursion by China has cast a “dark shadow” over its relations with India, a former envoy has said the Beijing leadership after having resolved the issue in a mature manner will have the opportunity to tell New Delhi the reason behind the move.

As new Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives here tomorrow on his first overseas visit to any country after assuming office, former Indian Ambassdor to China Nalin Surie feels Premier Li and his team have an opportunity to explain why the incident occurred. “It is an advantage for Premier Li and his team to explain why it happened while India can understand the aspirations of the new Chinese leadership,” Surie said in an interaction here today.

A spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Office had recently told Indian mediapesons that the Ladakh incursion was an “isolated incident”, which Surie felt was not an adequate explanation.

Surie, who succeeded current National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon as Indian Ambassador to China, said the new Chinese leadership had been groomed for the task and was well aware of the aspirations of the country and the world.

Referring to the recent statement by Li during an interaction with an Indian youth delegation that it was time to look ahead, Surie said while it was good to think of the future, this constant testing by Beijing in the form of Ladakh incursion sets back the trust that should be built in the relationship between the two most populous neighbours in Asia.

Surie, who retired last year after serving as the Indian High Commissioner in the United Kingdom, felt while there were no differences between the Chinese leadership in government and military, whoever ordered the Chinese platoon to move into the Ladakh region made an “error of judgement”.

Citing his lecture at a conference on Sino-Indian relations at Thrissur, Kerala, earlier this year, Suire said both India and China were too big and growing in power to be contained and even when India was less powerful, both countries were not susceptible to containment.

The relationship between the two countries would in the foreseeable future continue to be a mix of competition and cooperation, he said, adding that the key resentment in Beijing was that while its rise was seen as being threatening, India’s rise wasn’t.

It is an advantage for Premier Li and his team to explain why it happened while India can understand the aspirations of the new Chinese leadership.
—Nalin Surie, former Indian envoy





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