China using Lanka crisis to promote influence in Indian Ocean Region: Chidambaram

April 25th, 2009 - 5:04 pm ICT by ANI  

P. Chidambaram New Delhi, Apr 25 (ANI): Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram has said that India’s response to the Sri Lankan crisis has been impacted by China which is using this issue to expand its sphere of influence in the island nation.

Chidambaram’s comments are important as Lanka’s importance for Beijing is in the sea-lanes of communication in the north Indian Ocean through which Chinese trade and energy supplies flow.

The world, including India, has called for a cessation of hostilities to enable civilians to escape from the war zone, but China is still encouraging the Lankan offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

“China is fishing in troubled waters. That is a lone, discordant voice among all of the global community,” The Hindustan Times quoted Chidambaram, as saying.

“China is acting with a clear agenda. Our policies take account of the Chinese calculations,” he said.

Chidambaram said India is trying to put pressure on Colombo and the LTTE to cease hostilities.

“It’s a humanitarian crisis. We want the killings to stop. But neither the Lankan Government nor the Tamil Tigers are willing to listen to the international community,” he said.

The Home Minister said Pakistan also might have wanted to seek a foothold on the southern (maritime) border of India, but internal issues were holding it back.

Chidambaram said the advances made by the Taliban in Pakistan were “extremely worrisome” for India. “Large sections of Pakistan are under the control of the Taliban,” he said. (ANI)

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