Confidence building measures needed to allay China's concern over India-US ties: Subramanian Swamy
Beijing, Sep 24: India's concern on terrorism emanating from Pakistan and China's apprehensions on the close ties between the US and India could figure in the talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping during their upcoming informal summit, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has said.
Swamy, a Rajya Sabha MP, was in Beijing on a five-day visit on the invitation of the Tsinghua University, where he addressed a meeting on the progress made by China in the last 70 years. He also took part in the interactive meetings with Chinese officials and think-tanks. He also met with Indian Ambassador to China, Vikram Misri.
On Monday, he met Chinese Vice Foreign Minister and former Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui and discussed Sino-India relations. Interacting with the Indian media on Monday, Swamy said while Chinese officials expressed concern over the emerging close ties between India and the US, he raised issues relating to Beijing's backing to Islamabad over issues concerning terrorism.
Swamy said he believes that both China's concerns over India-US ties and India's concerns on issues related to Pakistan specially terrorism could come up in the Modi-Xi informal summit next month. This would be the second informal summit between the two leaders. The first one was held at the Chinese city of Wuhan.
He said the Chinese officials said they are looking forward to the 2nd informal summit. Both sides have not officially announced it yet. "There is a certain concern in China which we need to remove as to where India-US relations are moving in the context of what is happening between the US and China," he said. China is locked in a bruising trade war with the US since last year. The two top economies of the world were locked in a strategic rivalry as China is fast expanding its global influence.
Swamy, who has been visiting China and interacting with the ruling Communist Party officials for over three decades, said India should do take some confidence-building measures to allay Beijing's concern on India-US ties. "India, China relations are primarily important. America is far away. And America has its own cost benefit analysis. Latest is Afghanistan. Had US troops planned to leave on September 1 handing it over to Taliban it would have been a security disaster for India," he said. "I think we must therefore ensure that our relations with China are healthy," he said.
China's concerns included India's participation in the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue involving the US, Japan and Australia as well as the Indo-Pacific concept and Beijing’s apprehension over its impact in the disputed South China Sea, Swamy said. Swamy said he has expressed "deep concern at the fact that China being supportive of Pakistan even while they are sending terrorists to India".
"I also explained that the revocation of article 370 is no business of Pakistan. It is part of the Indian Constitution. Indian Constitution also prescribes how it can be removed," he said, referring to the removal of special status to Jammu and Kashmir. China had objected to the formation of Ladakh as Union Territory, saying that it undermined its territorial sovereignty, evoking a sharp reaction from India, which told Beijing to refrain from commenting on its "internal affairs".
Swamy said he told the Chinese officials that the UNSC resolution on Kashmir has become a "dead letter". About criticism related to China's backing to Pakistan, the Chinese officials explained that "the things they have done are the minimum to keep Pakistan feeling that" it has not been abandoned. "We don't want to appear we have abandoned Pakistan," Swamy quoted a Chinese official as saying.
Also, China is concerned that India may "do something" in Ladakh sector after the removal of the article 370, he said. The India-China border dispute covers 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control. Both countries so far held 21 rounds of Special Representatives talks to resolve the boundary dispute. Swamy said he has suggested to China to establish an India, China and Pakistan track-2 dialogue to discuss issues related to terrorism.
"I suggested that there could be off the record meeting of the Indians, Chinese and Pakistanis because there was an admission that China is also suffering from Islamic terrorism. So we then have common interest there. It could be non-official, like track-2. They were enthusiastic about it," he said. The track two dialogue should be confined only to issues related to terrorism and not to any other issues, he said.