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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

India should not be scared of China: Advani

March 31, 2008

The Economic Times
30 Mar, 2008
Shantanu Nandan Sharma & Shubham Mukherjee

NEW DELHI: Leader of the Opposition and BJP’s prime ministerial
candidate L K Advani wants India to take a tougher posture against
China. Talking exclusively to SundayET, Mr Advani said that the Indian
government’s response towards China’s attitude is not right.

“Lately, their (Chinese government’s) attitude towards India has changed
a lot. Whether it’s the issue of Arunachal Pradesh, Tibet or Dalai Lama,
they have become very aggressive. And India’s response to that is not
adequate”, he said.

In fact, China has opposed Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s recent
visit to Arunachal Pradesh as it still claims the North-Eastern state to
be a part of China. What’s more, the Chinese foreign ministry recently
summoned Indian ambassador Nirupama Rao at 2 am to protest against the
breach of security by Tibetan protesters at Chinese Embassy in New Delhi.

Replying to a question on whether India is still scared of China, Mr
Advani said that India’s recent responses to a series of matters related
to China, have signalled that. “The way we have been handling the
Chinese issue clearly conveys that we are scared of them. But that is
not necessary. Why should we be scared of them?” he asked.

Mr Advani said that he used to praise China vis-à-vis Pakistan, as the
former did not mix up politics and economics. “Unlike Pakistan, China
has de-linked economics from politics. I used to praise China because
they were willing to strengthen the economic ties with India even though
border disputes remained. However, things have changed recently. The way
they have been claiming Arunachal Pradesh as theirs is not acceptable to
us (BJP). What our government has done —- it has cancelled Vice
President’s meeting with Dalai Lama! These steps are not justified,” he
said.

Mr Advani further said that India was shying away to talk about Tibet
and Dalai Lama when Chinese president Hu Jintao visited India in
November 2006. “During Hu’s visit to India, I was the first person to
raise the issue of Tibet and Dalai Lama. I talked about Arunachal
Pradesh too. I see no reason why the government cannot,” he said.
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