Friday, April 9, 2010

Hotline rings between India & China

India and China signed an agreement for establishing a hotline between New Delhi and Beijing to enhance the quality of communication and evolve better relationship, Nirupama Rao, foreign secretary, told reporters on Wednesday evening. This is an important confidence building measure, she said. Krishna, who met Chinese premier Wen Jiabao and foreign minister Yang Jiechi, raised a wide range of issues including the problem of stapled visas given by China to certain Indian citizens including Kashmiris. Rao seemed to suggest there was no clear assurance from the Chinese side when she told reporters that the matter was a subject of ongoing discussions. In his 45-minute talk with premier Wen, Krishna sought Beijing’s support for a seat in the United Nations Security Council. China reiterated its known stand without committing itself on the issue. In the 2008 joint statement, China had said: “The Chinese side understands and supports India’s aspirations to play a greater role in the United Nations, including in the Security Council”. Rao said the issue of hacking Indian military websites from a location in China was not discussed at the meetings with Chinese leaders. Indian government has taken steps to safegaurd its important internet resources, she said. The two sides reiterated their desire to settle the boundary dispute. The Indian minister also raised the issue of the detention of 21 diamond merchants from Gujarat by China on charges of smuggling. He emphasized that the legal process concerning the detainees should be conducted in a transparent manner. Chinese leaders made no effort to deny reports that construction companies from the country were involved in developing infrastructure projects in PoK. The only assurance they gave Krishna is that Chinese work in the area is without prejudice to the fact that it is a disputed area. China also told India that it has not built any dam projects in the upper reaches of Brahmaputra, which starts from China and feeds India’s northeast region. China’s plans were limited to small hydro electricity projects in the region.

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