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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

India-China face-off worsens over ADB loan for Arunachal

May 17, 2009

Pranab Dhal Samanta
Indian Express
May 15, 2009

New Delhi -- India and China are headed for a
major confrontation in the Asian Development Bank
with Beijing digging its heels in and not giving
its consent to the $2.9-billion India development
plan unless the mention of Arunachal Pradesh is removed from the document.

A sum of $60 million is marked for a watershed
development project, including flood management, for Arunachal Pradesh.

China considers the state "disputed territory"
and wants it to be removed from the document.

The Bank has asked India to resolve the matter
bilaterally provoking a strong reaction from New
Delhi. While a board meeting has been scheduled
for June 2, India has let it be known that it
would rather withdraw the entire plan than remove
Arunachal Pradesh for the sake of financial approval.

In March, as first reported by The Indian
Express, China successfully obtained a
postponement of a decision on the plan at the ADB
Board meeting but India had hoped that the ADB
would resolve the matter in due course. However,
New Delhi was taken by surprise when the ADB
wrote to the government recently that it should
use bilateral channels to find a way out.

It’s learnt that India has asked the ADB not to
indulge China on bilateral issues. In the run-up
to the June 2 meeting, India will look to lobby
hard with other board members to ensure that the
Chinese objection is overruled. If the conflict
isn’t resolved, official sources said, the
government may look for alternative funding.

Part of the problem emerges from the fact that
ADB does not have a policy for projects in
disputed areas. Being the largest donor after US
and Japan to the Bank, China is clearly using its
clout. India, which is only next to China, will
have to lean on the US and Japan along with South Korea to get its way.
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