Before Summit, Singh Takes up Chinese Assertiveness, Terrorism,Trade

Ahead of bilateral summit with President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has made a strong pitch for India’s case, raising matters like Chinese assertiveness, counter-terrorism, cooperation on non-proliferation and trade.

During an interaction at the US Council for Foreign Relations in Washington, Singh said that India has taken note of ‘certain amount of assertiveness’ by China lately, an apparent reference to its objections over Beijing’s provocative steps. However, he said that he did not ‘fully understand’ the reasons for its actions.

“There is certain amount of assertiveness on the part of Chinese. I don’t fully understand the reasons for it. That has to be taken note of,” he said.

Though the prime minister didn’t elaborate but his remarks are significant given China’s recent provocative steps as stapled visas to Kashmiris, statement on Arunachal Pradesh etc.

Responding to questions on Indo-Pak relations, Singh denounced Pakistan’s ‘selective’ approach in the fight against terrorism and that he did not want to speculate about India’s response in the event of another 26/11-type attack.

“I hate to speculate and sincerely hope that such sort of eventuality does not arise,” Singh said.

The Prime Minister also indicated India’s readiness to resume dialogue with Pakistan provided it abjures terrorism and comes to the table with “good faith and sincerity”.

“It is my solemn hope that India and Pakistan can together move forward to write a new chapter in the history of the sub-continent…I have said that we are ready to pick up the threads of the dialogue, including on issues related to Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

In response to another query about the reference to Indo-Pak relations in the joint statement issued after talks in Beijing between US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao, Singh said, “What happens between President Obama and President Hu is not our direct concern.”

About Chinese economic progress, the prime minister said that there was no doubt that its performance was superior to that of India but hastened to add that he would not like to choose the Chinese path and instead stick to the one pursued by India.

“There are several dimensions to human freedom which are not always caught by the numbers with regard to the GDP. So I do believe that even though Indian performance with regard to GDP might not be as good as the Chinese, certainly I would not like to choose the Chinese path. I would like to stick to Indian path,” Singh said explaining why Indian model of economic reform was preferable.

About non proliferation, Singh said India and the US can work together on efforts to reduce global risks of nuclear proliferation and prevent terrorists from gaining access to technologies related to weapons of mass destruction.

“We welcome the fact that President Obama has committed the United States to the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons,” he said.

Noting that India has been committed to this goal since independence, he said “We believe that India’s security will be enhanced, not diminished, by the complete elimination of nuclear weapons the world over.”

“There is much that India and the United States can do together to reduce the global risks of nuclear proliferation, including by building a new global consensus on the way ahead. The negotiation of a verifiable Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty in the Conference on Disarmament will be a significant contribution,” he said.

Welcoming Obama’s initiative to host a summit on Nuclear Security in April next year, he said, “Our countries can play a vital role in strengthening global resolve to prevent terrorists from gaining access to materials and technologies related to weapons of mass destruction.”

Singh also deeply appreciated the cooperation that India has received from the United States in the area of counter-terrorism in the recent past.

“I am convinced that we can do much more together on a sustained basis to combat increasingly sophisticated terror networks, transnational criminal groups and cyber terrorism,” he said.

“Our defence and strategic dialogues have added important dimensions to our ties. Maritime security, including countering piracy and protecting sea-lanes of communication in the Indian Ocean and beyond, is another area where we should expand cooperation,” he said.

After addressing the US India Business Council (USIBC), Singh made an attempt to attract more American foreign investment in areas ranging from infrastructure to agriculture and green energy and underlined that no investor is more welcome in India than the investors from the US.

“India today is open for business in almost every sphere of economic activity,” Singh said. “Hard infrastructure remains a critical bottleneck in our aspiration to achieve 9 per cent growth,” he said.

Singh stressed that there is enormous scope for American investments in the development of key infrastructure, including road, rail, airports and ports.

The PM also unveiled his vision of the India-US partnership that will blend strategic cooperation with intensified economic ties.

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker