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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Disagreements between India, China surfacing

November 28, 2008

Heritage Foundation writer says border disputes bedevil
Chinese-Indian ties despite strong economic, trade relations
By Khalid Hasan
The Daily Times (Pakistan)
November 27, 2008

WASHINGTON -- While on the surface Indian-Chinese relations appear to
be improving, both sides harbour deep suspicions of the other's
strategic intentions and signs of their deep-seated disagreements
have begun to surface over the last two years and such friction is
likely to continue, according to a commentary.

Lisa Curtis of the Heritage Foundation writes that one irritant
between the two states is their unsettled borders, with China's
interest in consolidating its hold on Tibet, and India's expanding
influence in Asia. As the relationship between the world's oldest and
the world's largest democracies develops, Washington will need to pay
close attention to the dynamics of the India-China relationship. The
future direction of relations between China and India, two booming
economies that together account for one-third of the world's
population will be a major factor in determining broader political
and economic trends in Asia, directly affecting United States
interests. China is strengthening ties with its traditional ally
Pakistan and slowly gaining influence with other South Asian states.
Beijing is developing strategic port facilities in Burma, Bangladesh,
Sri Lanka and Pakistan in order to protect sea lanes and ensure
uninterrupted energy supplies. China also uses military and other
kinds of assistance to court these nations, especially when India and
other Western states attempt to use their assistance programmes to
encourage respect for human rights and democracy.

Disputes: Curtis writes that despite improvements in economic ties
and trade relations, border disputes continue to bedevil
Chinese-Indian ties. India accuses China of illegally occupying more
than 14,000 square miles of its territory on its northern border in
Kashmir, while China lays claim to more than 34,000 square miles of
India's northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh. India is a long-term
host to the Dalai Lama and about 100,000 Tibetan refugees, although
the Indian government forbids them from participating in any
political activity. Out of concern for Chinese sensitivities, the
Indian government placed restrictions on Tibetan protesters in India
last spring during the uprising in Tibet, and Beijing praised New
Delhi for preventing Tibetans from marching to the Tibetan capital of Lhasa.

The Indian political opposition, however, criticised Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh for appeasing the Chinese and for not defending
Tibetans' human rights. Renewed tensions in Tibet would likely
pressure New Delhi to show greater solidarity with the Tibetan people.
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