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India at a "loss" over growing Sino-US ties: Chinese scholars

November 20, 2009 18:22 IST

India's unease over the Sino-US joint statement on Indo-Pak relations may indicate a "sense of loss" in New Delhi at the growing ties between China and America, Chinese scholars said on Friday. While justifying the controversial Sino-US statement that pledged support for improvement in Indo-Pak ties, they said it is in China's interests to have an "orderly neighbourly environment."

India's reaction may demonstrate a sense of wariness and a fear of being ignored at growing Sino-US ties after President Barack Obama's visit to Beijing here, the state-run Beijing-based Global Times reported quoting the Chinese analysts assaying.

Wang Dehua of the Institute of South and Central Asian Studies at the Shanghai Centre for International Studies said India unavoidably suffered "a sense of loss" while observing that Sino-US relations were entering a new phase. "China and the US adopted the spirit of seeking common ground while putting differences aside. That should be a reference for the Sino-India relationship. The Indian side, however, seems to prefer to prioritise differences," Wang told the paper, a sister publication of the ruling Communist Party's mouthpiece, People's Daily.

"Good relations between China and Pakistan also benefit India, as China has been trying to persuade Pakistan to continue the peace process with India, instead of jointly confronting it." Ma Jiali, of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, a major think-tank, echoed Wang's sentiments, saying the joint statement is not meant to interfere in India's sovereignty.

"It is reasonable for the US and China, especially China, as India's neighbour, to pay attention to security conditions in South Asia," Ma said, adding that protest against such pronouncements was "rare", and claimed that it may be a display of India's lack of confidence. The views of the scholars came a day after the Chinese Foreign Ministry appeared to pacify India on controversial reference in the Sino-US joint statement, saying that it was not trying to meddle in Indo-Pak ties.

Responding to a question on what China thought was its role in India-Pakistan relationship, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang tried to downplay the significance of the Sino-US joint statement and said Beijing hopes for "gradual improvement" in Indo-Pak ties. India had reacted sharply to the Sino-US joint statement. "A third country role cannot be envisaged nor is it necessary," External Affairs Ministry spokesman said in a terse comment on Wednesday on the joint statement issued after talks between Obama and his counterpart Hu Jintao in Beijing on Tuesday.

Obama and Hu had voiced support for the improvement in Indo-Pak ties and their readiness to promote peace and stability in the region, listing the situation in South Asia among regional and global challenges.

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