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India talks tough on one-China policy, says reaffirm one-India policy first

Author: Indrani Bagchi
Publication: The Times of India
Date: September 9, 2014
URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-talks-tough-on-one-China-policy-says-reaffirm-one-India-policy-first/articleshow/42060331.cms

India on Monday took a tough line ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to India later this month. "For India to agree to a one-China policy, China should reaffirm a one-India policy," external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said.

 "When they raised with us the issue of Tibet and Taiwan, we shared their sensitivities. So, we want they should understand and appreciate our sensitivities regarding Arunachal Pradesh," the minister said.

 India has refused to endorse the "one-China" policy since 2010, removing it from a joint statement during the visit of former premier Wen Jiabao to New Delhi.

Describing the India-China relationship as being "very good" but one of "competition and cooperation", Swaraj promised the forthcoming visit by Xi Jinping to India would be "substantial and solid".

She played down Modi's remarks in Japan which were believed to be aimed at China, saying those were actually not aimed at anyone. This was an attempt to gloss over a remark which must have rankled in China while making Modi's Japanese hosts happy. Swaraj said, "He never referred to any specific country. It was media's guess. He spoke about 18th century expansionism." Addressing Japanese businessmen, PM had taken a swipe at China, albeit without naming the country. "There are 18th-century-style ways and thinking that involve expanding (geographically) by taking away the land of another nation and going into seas," he had said.

Swaraj said she was headed to Afghanistan in the next couple of days. Later this month, she said, India and Bangladesh would discuss the land boundary agreement and Teesta water sharing pact at the forthcoming joint consultative commission (JCC) meeting on September 20. "The Land Boundary Agreement was already introduced in Rajya Sabha and referred to the select committee. The select committee has been reconstituted now. Political consultations are under way," she said.

 However, Swaraj was caught off-guard while fielding a question on the prospect of Scotland's independence. It was clear that she had not been briefed by her officials that there was a definite possibility of Scotland breaking away from Britain. Swaraj reacted incredulously when asked how India viewed the prospect of the possible break-up of UK. After gathering her thoughts, she said India would go with what Scotland wanted.

 
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