India gets Obama assurance over China (Lead)

November 26th, 2009 - 12:38 am ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh By Manish Chand
Washington, Nov 25 (IANS) In the wake of the controversy over the US-China joint statement, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday said US President Barack Obama has assured him that it “did not mean any third power’s intervention in South Asian affairs”.

“We talked about it,” Manmohan Singh told reporters here when asked whether he raised India’s concerns over the US-China joint statement that created apprehensions in India about Washington giving a role to Beijing in India-Pakistan relations.

“President Obama assured me that the US-China joint statement did not mean any third power’s intervention in the affairs of South Asia,” he said.

“I am satisfied,” he added.

Responding to another query, Manmohan Singh said India welcomed the peaceful rise of China and underlined that it was trying to resolve all outstanding issues, including the border dispute, with Beijing.

He said: “We are in favour of the rest of the world engaging China.”

“I did mention that like other countries we welcome the peaceful rise of China,” he said when asked whether China figured in the discussions he had with Obama in the White House Tuesday.

“We have been discussing the border problem. China is one of our major trading partners. I am confident that with purposeful negotiations we can resolve all outstanding disputes,” he said.

Earlier, in an address to the Council on Foreign Relations Monday, Manmohan Singh sought to downplay the US-China joint statement, saying it is not of “direct concern” to him, but asserted that India will not choose the “non-democratic” Chinese path of high economic growth but its own route of democracy and development.

A section of the US-China joint statement, issued after the talks between US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing last week, envisaged a role for Beijing in South Asia’s developments and in India-Pakistan affairs that triggered apprehensions in India about the Obama administration appeasing China at the cost of India.

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