China has no plans to contain India, says Hunews
23 November 2006

Mumbai: China wants to consolidate business links and establish a strategic partnership by enhancing mutual political trust with India, to help make the 21st century an Asian century, Chinese president Hu Jintao said.

Allaying New Delhi's fears that Beijing was trying to encircle India and contain its rise, he said Beijing was not seeking "selfish gains" in South Asia and was willing to work with New Delhi to push for an early settlement to a decades-old border dispute.

The two countries have made little headway in several rounds of negotiations over resolving the dispute over their 3,500 km border. New Delhi disputes Beijing's rule over 38,000 sq km of barren, icy and uninhabited land on the Tibetan plateau, which China seized from India in the 1962 war. China, for its part, claims 90,000 sq km of territory ruled by India in the eastern part of the border, mostly in Arunachal Pradesh.

"China does not seek any selfish gains in South Asia and is ready to play a constructive role in promoting peace and development in the subcontinent," Hu told a gathering of business leaders, diplomats and politicians.

Hu will wind up his four-day visit to India on Thursday and leave for Islamabad, Bejing's all-weather ally, which strategic experts say is being used as a counterweight to New Delhi.

While Hu offered to co-operate with India in the nuclear field, he is expected to sign landmark nuclear deals with Pakistan. Experts see this as a counterbalance to the Indo-US nuclear deal, which is awaiting final approvals by US Congress.

China is also building a deep-water port on Pakistan's Arabian sea coast, as well as developing harbors or ports with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar, as part of closer economic and military ties with India's neighbors - all of which have led to suspicions over Beijing's motives.

But Hu said China and India were true friends and partners and Beijing was ready to work with New Delhi to increase mutual political trust.

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China has no plans to contain India, says Hu