China’s military spending matter of concern, says Antony (Lead)

June 2nd, 2012 - 9:05 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 2 (IANS) India Saturday expressed concern over China’s high and opaque defence spending which touched $106 billion this year.

At the Asia security meet in Singapore, India’s Defence Minister A.K. Antony conveyed the apprehension in reply to questions from participants after delivering a lecture on maritime freedoms.

“It’s a matter of concern,” Antony was quoted as having said by defence ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar over phone. Kar is accompanying the minister.

“India is also building its capabilities to protect its national interests,” Antony said.

Despite this, the two countries are working towards peace and stability not only in Asia but also around the world, the minister said, giving the example of growing cooperation between India and China in anti-piracy and maritime security measures.

He also expressed optimism that the India-China cooperation will evolve further in the coming years.

On a question on Afghanistan, Antony said India was concerned about the future of that country, especially after 2014 when the International Security Assistance Force withdraws.

New Delhi was helping Kabul to bolster its security apparatus and wished prosperity and peace to the Afghan people, he said.

Antony said the political process in Afghanistan should be “inclusive, transparent and anchored” by its own people.

On the crisis in the Arab world, Antony said India did not believe in solving the ongoing problems through confrontation or de-stabilisation.

He said New Delhi would like to see that peace and stability prevailed in Middle East.

“Our effort is to develop close relations with the countries of the region as nearly six million persons of Indian origin live there and nearly 80 percent of our energy requirements are sourced from there,” he said.

Nearly 20 percent of India’s oil supplies come from Saudi Arabia and 12 percent from Iran.

On the sidelines of the meet, Antony held bilateral talks with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris and Vietnamese Deputy Defence Minister Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in South Asia |