In broader terms, India views Chinese president Hu Jintao’s visit here later this month as an opportunity to share views on the “state of the world” with the message that New Delhi’s “strategic autonomy” was non-negotiable, as underscored in its dealings with the US on the civilian nuclear cooperation issue.
Official sources pointed out that the Sino-Indian ties have blossomed after the two countries de-linked the boundary question from building relations in other areas. A lot has changed since the then President Jiang Zemin’s November 1996 visit in terms of quelling suspicion about New Delhi’s role in Washington’s policy of containing China.
Beijing also has not played a negative role in Nepal, enabling India to contribute meaningfully to the Himalayan nation’s “democratic progress to a settled constitutional order.” Consequently, New Delhi’s public profile in Nepal has transformed from being the problematic big brother to a country that was part of the solution.
The ambience, therefore, is perfect for an interaction with the Chinese leadership at the highest level, regardless of their reservations about the Indo-US nuclear arrangement in the making. Drawing attention to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s oft-repeated remarks about there being enough space for the emerging economies of the two countries, the sources said India recognized Beijing’s importance in integrating the Asian market.
On the China-Pakistan relationship that has often discomfited New Delhi, sources felt the India responses required to be guided by the ground realities.