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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

India, China set to cross $30 billion trade: Envoy

November 16, 2007

New Delhi, Nov 15 (IANS) India and China are confident of surpassing 
$30 billion in bilateral trade this year, Chinese ambassador to India 
Sun Yuxi said here Wednesday.

"Bilateral trade has already crossed $27 billion. We will easily 
achieve $30 billion trade by 2010," he told reporters while stressing 
that the two countries would achieve the 2010 target of $40 billion 
earlier than that.

The Chinese envoy, however, sounded ambivalent about Beijing's 
position on the India-US nuclear deal in the 45-nation Nuclear 
Suppliers Group (NSG).

"Let's see the changes in India first," he replied, when asked 
whether there was any change in Beijing's stance on the nuclear deal.

He was referring to domestic problems the landmark nuclear deal has 
run into in India due to a stand-off between the Indian government 
and its Left allies.

China, an influential member of the NSG, has been noncommittal 
towards supporting India in the grouping but has indicated that it 
will not stand in the way of New Delhi's way when the deal comes to 
the nuclear cabal for approval.

He was equally ambivalent about China's stand on India's bid for an 
expanded Security Council seat. "We want India to play a larger role 
in the world," was all that he would say.

The envoy did not comment on the progress on talks on resolving the 
boundary dispute between India and China.

He appreciated India's judgment in not allowing ministers and those 
associated with the government to attend a function held here to 
honour Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama for winning the US 
Congressional medal.

"The Dalai Lama is trying to split China. We expect a friend not to 
encourage the Dalai Lama to engage in political activities," he said.

"The Dalai Lama says he is a religious leader. But that's a cover for 
engaging in political activities."

India recognises Tibet as a part of China and does not allow the 
Dalai Lama, who has been living in the country since 1959, to engage 
in political activities.

A circular issued by Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrashekhar had asked 
members of Manmohan Singh's council of ministers to stay away from 
the Nov 3 function to felicitate the exiled Tibetan leader.

None of the ministers attended the function. Former prime minister 
I.K. Gujral and Bashitha Narain Singh, an MP of Janata Dal-United, 
were, however, present at the function.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visits Beijing in January next year.

IANS
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