By Ashok Dixit
Onboard Air India One, Jan 16 : Union Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said the most significant outcome of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to China is that Beijing has recognized that a partnership with India is a win- win situation for both.
Recalling the highlights of Dr. Singh's visit and his (Nath's) discussions with his Chinese counterpart, Nath said to his mind there was personal touch to the visit that had not existed previously.
There was a moment when Prime Minister Singh was personally seen off to his car by Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in freezing temperatures, which to him reflected the warmth of bilateral ties between the two countries.
From a commercial point of view, he said that India has the highest number of anti-dumping cases against China, but during this visit, not one adverse comment came from the Chinese side.
He described it as the most successful visit undertaken by a Prime Minister of India.
Both sides, he said, were in agreement that uncertainties exist in Iran, Pakistan and the United States, and that such uncertainties could have an impact on commercial treaties in the short and long term, but as far as India and China were concerned, progress is being made in all fields.
During the visit, he said he mentioned the latest TATA car model "The Nano" to his Chinese counterpart, and suggested the latter consider buying or driving it. He said he was surprised to hear the Chinese saying that they knew about the car.
He said people of the world were looking at both India and China, and what must be noted from this visit, is that it was no longer and India versus China syndrome, but an India and China syndrome.
What also needed to be taken note of was that the Indian Prime Minister was being seen by the Chinese leadership as an individual with whom global issues could be discussed, such as the developments in Pakistan and Iran.
"This reflects that the interaction is no longer restricted to the bilateral level, but has progressed to the global level," Nath said.
As far as India's quest for permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council was concerned, Nath said there was a time in the recent past when China (one of the P-5 countries with veto powers) would not think twice about blocking New Delhi's efforts for membership or for calls for reform of the U.N.
"Now, the leadership in Beijing is more open, more understanding of India's views and concerns at the global level. Civil nuclear cooperation is being given consideration. Membership is being given consideration," Nath said.
As far as the significant development of allowing Jet Airways to start flights to West via Shanghai was concerned, Nath said he had only received the Jet Airways proposal for consideration last week. It was a landmark achievement, given the obstacles that had existed, but were now removed.