Chinese statements on the border with India are a "routine rhetoric", Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah says, downplaying the projection by China of Jammu and Kashmir as an independent state, which had fuelled tension between New Delhi and Beijing.
"Such statements are nothing but a routine rhetoric. Kabhie kabhie apne logun ko dikhane ke liye toofan bayanbaazi karni padti hai. Hum bhi kabhie kabhie apni muthi dikhate hain (Sometimes to placate your own people you have to issue provocative statements, the way we sometimes adopt aggressive posture)," Abdullah said here Wednesday evening.
The former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister was speaking to reporters at a function organised by Foundation for Amity and National Solidarity (FANS) to felicitate him on his 73rd birthday.
He said the government and the armed forces were prepared to deal with any situation.
Chinese ambassador to India Zhang Yang had already said that New Delhi and Beijing were on "very good terms", Farooq Abdullah pointed out.
His statement assumes significance in view of the mutual recriminations between the two countries on a host of issues, including reported Chinese incursions and Beijing's objections to the visit of the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, to Arunachal Pradesh, India's northeastern state to which Beijing has made claims.
China has also been issuing separate visas to Indian passport holders from Jammu and Kashmir, irking New Delhi.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart, Wen Jiabao, are meeting at the East Asia Summit later this week in Thailand to discuss the border dispute, trade and Arunachal Pradesh, an official source said.
The function in the Imperial Hotel in the national capital was also attended by former ministers Vasant Sathe and M M Jacob as well as former Jammu and Kashmir governor and ex RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) chief G C Saxena.
FANS president V M Trehan lauded Abdullah's "secular credentials" and described him as an "embodiment of secularism".
"A nationalist to the core, Abdullah is committed to the gigantic task for bringing peace and harmony in the turbulent state of Jammu and Kashmir," Trehan said.
The FANS, founded in 1984, claims to be propagating the message of amity and national solidarity throughout the country.