India, China need to address "trust deficit":Jaswant Singh

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Kochi, Jan 22 (UNI) Former External Affairs Minister and Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Jaswant Singh today said there was a need for India and China to address the "deficit of trust and surplus of suspicion" marking bilateral relations.

Chairing a session on 'Sino-Indian Relations and US' at a 'Conference on India-China-US Triangle' here, Mr Singh said it was necessary to address this issue for the relations between the two countries to move forward.

"The injustices of history and their long shadows must be eliminated from current determination of policy," he added.

Earlier, in the opening session of the three-day conference, organized by the Centre for National Renaissance, New Delhi, in collaboration with the Fairbank Center, Harvard University, the Institute for International Studies, Tsinghua University, China, and SCMS, Kochi, Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy said he did not think that the US was trying to use India as a counter-weight to China.

In view of their large bilateral trade-relations, neither the US nor China would like to take their differences to a flash point, he added.

However, Prof. John Garver, of the Georgia Tech University, US, said that both the US and China were looking to enlist India on their side as a counter against the other.

"India is at present at the advantageous position of being in the middle of the India-US-China Triangle and it will have to use skillful diplomacy to handle its relations with the two countries,'' he added.

Chief Editor, The Hindu, N Ram, however challenged the concept of a "triangle" between the three countries and said that there was no need to "over-interpret" the current international configuration.

He said China's support for a permanent UN Security Council seat for India and its openness to civilian nuclear cooperation were the two incremental benefits from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's recent visit to China.

However, he felt that there would be no early resolution to the border dispute between the two countries as "neither the UPA nor the NDA would be able to politically sell a final border settlement to the people of the country," he added.

Air Chief Marshal (Retd.) S Krishnaswamy, who is a member of the National Security Board of India, said the country could not go slow on its "capability building" in defence, especially in view of the border dispute and a host of defence-related projects launched by China.

Former PLA General Pan Zhenqiang however said that the two countries should not remain hostage to "cold war mindsets" and should move forward.

UNI ARC DK1410

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