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India, China seek to defuse tension

By Kalyan Barooah

BALI (INDONESIA), Nov 18 � On a day Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh met US President Barack Obama, India and China sought to defuse the growing tensions, reiterating that there was enough space for both the countries to flourish.

While he exchanged notes with US President, Dr Singh and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao expressed satisfaction at the progress of the Special Representative-level talks to resolve the boundary issue.

Starting his first working day in this picturesque resort township, the Prime Minister held a series of meetings with world leaders on the sidelines of the Ninth ASEAN Summit. He first met the US President and then the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

Both Dr Singh and Obama declared their intention to push the Indo-US cooperation at bilateral, regional and global levels. Prime minister said that there are no irritants whatsoever in working together with USA.

�We have made progress in every direction, strengthening our bilateral cooperation � in the economy, investment, trade, in the field of higher education, in the field of clean energy, and strategy and defense relations,� Dr Singh said.

�It's a privilege for India to find you and your administration as deeply invested in ensuring that India makes a success of its historic journey to have the social and economic transformation carried out in the framework of an open society, a democratic polity, committed to the rule of law, and respect for full human freedom,� he said.

In response, Obama, recalling his visit to India said, �Since that time, we've continued to make progress on a wide range of issues. The bonds between our countries are not just at the leadership level, but they're, obviously, at the person-to-person level given the extraordinary contributions of Indian Americans to our culture, our politics, and our economy.�

�This will be an outstanding opportunity for us to continue to explore how we can work together, not only on bilateral issues but also in multilateral fora, like the East Asia Summit, which we believe can be the premier arena for us to be able to work together on a wide range of issues, such as maritime security or non-proliferation, as well as expanding the kind of cooperation on disaster relief and humanitarian aid that�s so important,� he said.

Meanwhile, in an attempt to defuse rising tensions following exchange of words over troop deployment along the international border, Dr Singh and the Chinese Premier sought to play down the reports of massive troop build-up by both the sides along the border in Arunachal Pradesh and alleged Chinese support to Indian insurgent groups like Paresh Barua faction of ULFA and the Maoists.

The Prime Minister told Wen that India was committed to developing the �best of relations� with China while Beijing underlined that the two countries should work �hand-in-hand� to ensure that the 21st century belongs to Asia.

�We are neighbours and also large growing economies of Asia. We should cooperate bilaterally and globally,� Singh reportedly told Wen during a meeting that lasted for 55 minutes. There had been �positive impact� whenever the two countries had cooperated on issues such as climate change, the Prime Minister told newsmen after the delegation-level talks at Hotel Laguna where Wen is staying.

Though officials were tight lipped over what transpired at the rather long meeting, which was also joined by National Security Adviser, Shiv Shankar Menon, sources said that the issue of boundary demarcation did figure in the discussions. Both the leaders expressed satisfaction at the progress of the ongoing Special Representative-level discussions.

India and China have firmed up the mechanism to maintain peace and tranquillity at the un-demarcated international boundary.

�It is important for our two countries, the most populous in the world, to achieve modernization and work hand in hand,� the Chinese leader said, adding that he was �fully confident that kind of world will arrive�.

Indian officials are curious over the mixed signals coming from Beijing. Two days before the meeting between Dr Singh and Wen Jiabao, China�s People�s Daily commented that India�s decision to beef up the security along the border with China by deploying 1 lakh additional troops was a �sensitive move�, which would result in raising tensions and harming New Delhi�s interests.

�The action is completely not worthwhile. Currently, India has 40,000 troops in the disputed area, and if the further 100,000 is deployed, the total number of the troops will reach 140,000�, an article carried by official daily said.

�It will result in a tense situation in the region and harm India�s own interests. Increasing troops on the border area is always a sensitive move and it is especially sensitive to increase troops on a disputed border area�, it said.

The People�s Daily commentary today said decreasing growth rates in India is making it �very difficult to considerably increase military spending for military build up amid the economic downturn, so India needs to first create a tense atmosphere and transfer domestic problems in hopes of securing more military spending�.

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India, China seek to defuse tension

BALI (INDONESIA), Nov 18 � On a day Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh met US President Barack Obama, India and China sought to defuse the growing tensions, reiterating that there was enough space for both the countries to flourish.

While he exchanged notes with US President, Dr Singh and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao expressed satisfaction at the progress of the Special Representative-level talks to resolve the boundary issue.

Starting his first working day in this picturesque resort township, the Prime Minister held a series of meetings with world leaders on the sidelines of the Ninth ASEAN Summit. He first met the US President and then the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

Both Dr Singh and Obama declared their intention to push the Indo-US cooperation at bilateral, regional and global levels. Prime minister said that there are no irritants whatsoever in working together with USA.

�We have made progress in every direction, strengthening our bilateral cooperation � in the economy, investment, trade, in the field of higher education, in the field of clean energy, and strategy and defense relations,� Dr Singh said.

�It's a privilege for India to find you and your administration as deeply invested in ensuring that India makes a success of its historic journey to have the social and economic transformation carried out in the framework of an open society, a democratic polity, committed to the rule of law, and respect for full human freedom,� he said.

In response, Obama, recalling his visit to India said, �Since that time, we've continued to make progress on a wide range of issues. The bonds between our countries are not just at the leadership level, but they're, obviously, at the person-to-person level given the extraordinary contributions of Indian Americans to our culture, our politics, and our economy.�

�This will be an outstanding opportunity for us to continue to explore how we can work together, not only on bilateral issues but also in multilateral fora, like the East Asia Summit, which we believe can be the premier arena for us to be able to work together on a wide range of issues, such as maritime security or non-proliferation, as well as expanding the kind of cooperation on disaster relief and humanitarian aid that�s so important,� he said.

Meanwhile, in an attempt to defuse rising tensions following exchange of words over troop deployment along the international border, Dr Singh and the Chinese Premier sought to play down the reports of massive troop build-up by both the sides along the border in Arunachal Pradesh and alleged Chinese support to Indian insurgent groups like Paresh Barua faction of ULFA and the Maoists.

The Prime Minister told Wen that India was committed to developing the �best of relations� with China while Beijing underlined that the two countries should work �hand-in-hand� to ensure that the 21st century belongs to Asia.

�We are neighbours and also large growing economies of Asia. We should cooperate bilaterally and globally,� Singh reportedly told Wen during a meeting that lasted for 55 minutes. There had been �positive impact� whenever the two countries had cooperated on issues such as climate change, the Prime Minister told newsmen after the delegation-level talks at Hotel Laguna where Wen is staying.

Though officials were tight lipped over what transpired at the rather long meeting, which was also joined by National Security Adviser, Shiv Shankar Menon, sources said that the issue of boundary demarcation did figure in the discussions. Both the leaders expressed satisfaction at the progress of the ongoing Special Representative-level discussions.

India and China have firmed up the mechanism to maintain peace and tranquillity at the un-demarcated international boundary.

�It is important for our two countries, the most populous in the world, to achieve modernization and work hand in hand,� the Chinese leader said, adding that he was �fully confident that kind of world will arrive�.

Indian officials are curious over the mixed signals coming from Beijing. Two days before the meeting between Dr Singh and Wen Jiabao, China�s People�s Daily commented that India�s decision to beef up the security along the border with China by deploying 1 lakh additional troops was a �sensitive move�, which would result in raising tensions and harming New Delhi�s interests.

�The action is completely not worthwhile. Currently, India has 40,000 troops in the disputed area, and if the further 100,000 is deployed, the total number of the troops will reach 140,000�, an article carried by official daily said.

�It will result in a tense situation in the region and harm India�s own interests. Increasing troops on the border area is always a sensitive move and it is especially sensitive to increase troops on a disputed border area�, it said.

The People�s Daily commentary today said decreasing growth rates in India is making it �very difficult to considerably increase military spending for military build up amid the economic downturn, so India needs to first create a tense atmosphere and transfer domestic problems in hopes of securing more military spending�.