China Gave No Reason For Intrusion: Khurshid

China Gave No Reason For Intrusion: Khurshid

9 May 2013
The Daily Excelsior


Beijing: China has not yet given any reason for the recent intrusion in Ladakh, an episode that has cast a shadow on bilateral ties, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said today. The three-week stand-off figured prominently in talks between Khurshid and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi with both expressing satisfaction on its resolution while skirting a detailed discussion on why the Chinese troops intruded 19 kms into Indian territory in Daulat Beig Oldi (DBO) sector. Asked whether there was any degree of clarity on why Chinese troops intruded, Khurshid said “Frankly, I did not even look for it. We are not ready with our own analysis. How we responded is clear to us. It is not clear why it happened. They were not offering that background and we were not asking for it at this stage”. He said what is more important is that not only were “we able to address it with satisfaction on both sides but also learn from them as to how we can ensure it does not happen and if they, how we can address”. To a question on whether China admitted to provocation, Khurshid said, “You cannot expect any country to say we provoked. It happened in remote area. To get the message to Government it is a long haul. It will take little time to analyse”. The Minister said it was not helpful at this stage to actually “apportion blame between them and us”. “Certainly that episode has cast shadow on all this…It would have been a setback. So we are very glad that it was resolved in a sensible way…Going into details of hair splitting… On you took one step they took one step… “I think we explained very clearly status quo as it existed before April 15…That is what our objective was. We achieved it,” he said. On whether Chinese has given any assurance, he said “I don’t think it is fair to ask for assurances. Will it be in writing, that means it is in the form of agreement. We already have agreements to address this kind of issues”. “There are already protocols. If there is something we have to take away from it, it is learning experience. Do we need to improve our own system or do we need to improve our arrangements with them. I am sure they would do similar analysis…” he said. Ahead of their meeting, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters that China hopes to use existing mechanisms to carry out discussions with India over border issues. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Khurshid that China is also willing to work with India to advance borders negotiations to seek a fair and reasonable solution. China wishes to jointly maintain peace and tranquillity along the borders before a settlement, Wang was quoted as saying by China’s official Xinhua news agency. Describing China and India as “strategic partners”, Wang said the bilateral relationship has more and more global significance, with great potential of cooperation and vast space of development. China is willing to make concerted efforts with India, seize the opportunity and promote the strategic cooperative partnership to a new level, Wang said. Both sides are preparing for exchange of high-level visits, which signals a big opportunity for the two countries to push forward their relationship, Wang said. During the meeting between Khurshid and Wang, the two sides finalised the visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to India this month. Li is expected to visit India from May 19-21, Khurshid said. Tomorrow, Khurshid is expected to meet Li and state councillor Yang Jiechi, who is also the special representative for China-India border talks. Khurshid asked China not to allow its close ties with Pakistan to affect Sino-India relationship. Asked whether he had taken up China’s projects in PoK with his counterpart Wang Yi, Khurshid said, “We understand you (China) have relationship with Pakistan. We respect you have a relationship with Pakistan but it should not be used or allowed to be used against Indian interests,” he said. “We said they (China) have relationship with Pakistan. That does not keep us back to develop relationship with them. We only urged them not to allow anybody to use their relationship to India’s detriment. It is all we urged. That is the point that was noted,” he said. “I did mention the nuclear programme of Pakistan. I also told the Foreign Minister that our relationship is as described by him as a relationship of two important countries in Asia and the world,” he said adding that the quality of depth of that relationship should be preserved. “They understand and we understand. Nudging, flagging and reminding is not a bad idea,” he said adding that India too has assured that it would not allow any country to use it to the detriment of China’s interests. About China supplying more nuclear reactors to Pakistan he said, “I flagged the nuclear programme of Pakistan.” “Those are multilateral agreement….They know their responsibility. As a responsible member of the UN, I am sure they would take appropriate decision,” he said. About China’s support for India’s bid for a permanent membership of the UN Security Council, he said he is due to meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and State Councillor Yang Jiechi tomorrow to discuss more bilateral issues. He said, Yang has formally been nominated to succeed Dai Bingguo as Special Representative for border talks. He is already in touch with his Indian counterpart National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon and the two were expected to hold the 16th round of border talks soon, Khurshid said. China has responded positively to India’s concerns over Beijing’s plan to build three new dams over Brahmaputra river in Tibet by agreeing to consider improving the present mechanism on sharing of data on water flow, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said today. “We raised the Brahmaputra issue. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too raised it earlier. They had a positive response,” Khurshid said. India and China have an agreement on sharing the data of the Brahmaputra waters but do not have any treaty on sharing the river waters. “We can look at whether the same mechanism can be enhanced and its mandate reworded and another mechanism can be put in place,” he said. “But the concerns that we have and the disquiet felt among people was referred to them and the willingness to look at how this can be suitably addressed,” he said. “I thought it was a very positive indication from them,” he said adding that there was no discussion of any water treaty but only to expand the present mechanism or look for alternative mechanism to address the issues. “The perception that they were not responding was unfair. Consultations have to take place. Fair to say there is positive looking attitude in a sense,” he said. New Delhi has said that China’s plans to build dams on the Brahmaputra river would affect water flow to India while Beijing says it is just run-of-the mill project that would not hold water. China is currently building dams at Dagu, Jiacha and Jiexu in addition to a 510 MW water project at Zangmu.