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<-Back to WTN Archives Sikkim will not be an issue in Sino-Indian ties
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World Tibet Network News

Published by the Canada Tibet Committee

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

1. Sikkim will not be an issue in Sino-Indian ties

The Times of India

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Wednesday said in Lok
Sabha that India and China have started a process by which Sikkim will
"cease" to be an issue in Sino-India relations and made it clear that there
was no change in the Government's decades-old policy on Tibet.

Making a suo motu statement on his recent visits to Germany, St Petersburg
(Russia), Evian (France) and China, Vajpayee described as "significant" the
memorandum of understanding on border trade through Nathu La Pass on
Indo-China border.

"This adds a third point of crossing for border trade between India and
China. With this memorandum, we have also started the process by which
Sikkim will cease to be an issue in India-China relations", the Prime
Minister said.

On Tibet, Vajpayee said "there is no change in our decades-old policy. We
have never doubted that Tibet Autonomous Region is a part of territory of
People's Republic of China".

The Prime Minister also said "there can, therefore, be no argument against
reiterating it. We have said nothing new about the presence of His Holiness
Dalai Lama or of Tibetan refugees in India".

On his talks with world leaders, including US President George Bush, Russian
President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Chinese Premier
Hu Jintao and French President Jacques Chirac, Vajpayee said all these
leaders appreciated the hand of friendship extended by him to Pakistan.

"All the leaders I met naturally showed interest in the situation in South
Asia. I was happy to note that all of them expressed support and
appreciation for the hand friendship we have extended to Pakistan and hoped
Pakistan would reciprocate.

"All of them spoke strongly against the menace of terrorism," he said adding
"I believe my interlocutors have a proper appreciation of our policy of
promoting peace, regionally and internationally".

Vajpayee said the twin objectives of his China visit were to establish close
relations with the new leadership there and to impart fresh momentum to the
increasingly diversified bilateral cooperation.

"We have agreed to a wide-ranging, mutually beneficial engagement with
China, even while simultaneously addressing our differences through amicable
discussions," he said.

During his meeting, Vajpayee said the Chinese President had told him that
the new leadership there "placed great emphasis on developing friendship
with India".

Vajpayee said it was agreed that China and India, which comprise one-third
of humanity, should work together effectively to make the 21st an Asian

Observing that his visit took place almost ten years after the last visit by
an Indian Prime Minister to China, Vajpayee said a recurrent theme in all
his meetings was the commitment of both sides to strengthen the ongoing
process of building mutual trust and understanding.

"It gave me an invaluable opportunity to personally interact with the new
Chinese leadership. I was received with great warmth and courtesy and was
given the distinct impression that our desire for mutual goodwill and for
diversification of our bilateral relationship was fully reciprocated," he

On the historic joint declaration signed by him and Prime Minister Wen
Jiabao, he said it confirmed the commitment of the two countries to work
more closely together internationally to strengthen the trend towards
multi-polarity, on WTO issues and in areas of concern to developing

Vajpayee said the two sides had agreed that the joint work on the
clarification of the Line of Actual Control should continue smoothly and
that peace and tranquillity in the border areas should continue to be

Noting that the declaration reflected the importance both countries attached
to the settlement of the boundary question, Vajpayee said principles for an
eventual settlement have been under discussion for some time now.

He said Wen had agreed with him that these discussions should be given a
momentum by exploring the framework of a boundary settlement from the
political perspective of an overall bilateral relationship.

The Prime Minister said the Chinese side also agreed to his suggestion for
opening of additional routes for the Kailash-Mansarovar yatra.

On participation of India, one of the 14 developing countries invited to the
G-8 enlarged dialogue in Evian, he said though the Kyoto Protocol has not
been ratified, clean energy development should be pursued through incentives
and transfer of technologies as envisaged in it.

"Developing countries should be fairly compensated for the use of their
bio-diversity resources and their traditional knowledge," he said adding
unless there was immediate and tangible progress in these areas, political
support in developing countries for economic liberalisation and responsible
environmental measures would rapidly disintegrate.

Articles in this Issue:
  1. Sikkim will not be an issue in Sino-Indian ties
  2. New momentum to China talks: PM
  3. Indian Communist Party's Delegation Visiting Tibet
  4. Response to Michael Parenti's article on Tibet
  5. U.N.:World can't afford rich China
  6. Tibet Simplifies Tourism Procedures for Taiwanese Tourists
  7. The world's next superpower

Other articles this month - WTN Index - Mail the WTN-Editors

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