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'Not giving India permanent UNSC membership is undemocratic'

world Updated: Nov 05, 2012 00:00 IST
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India will eventually get permanent membership of the UN Security Council as it is "undemocratic" to keep out over a billion-people strong country from the decision-making process, former President APJ Abdul Kalam has told China.

"It will come. You cannot keep a billion people away from decision making process", Kalam, who concluded his first ever visit to China, told the CCTV in an interview aired on Sunday.

"Billion people how can you keep away and keep veto power? It is not democratic", 82-year-old Kalam said while responding to a question whether India will get the UNSC membership.

His comments to the Chinese television carry significance as barring China, the rest of the four veto-wielding permanent members, United States, Russia, Britain and France have in principle conveyed their support for India's permanent membership at the high table.

Officially China maintains that it understands India's aspiration to play bigger role in the UN, including in the UNSC, but has not yet opened up to reforms of the Security Council.

Privately its top officials in the past told Indian leaders that Beijing has no problem about India getting the veto-wielding membership but it is averse to Japan getting the same.

Kalam came to China at the invitation of the Beijing Forum, an intellectual body sponsored by the Chinese government.

He was also invited to teach at the Peking University in Beijing.

In the interview, Kalam said India and China, which together make 37% of the world population, should combine their strengths to work together instead of harping on differences.

India is good in software and services and China has excelled in manufacturing. Together they can make products to capture world markets, he said.

Kalam also said China's one child policy cannot be implemented in India as it is a democratic country.

But at the same time, several Indian states are successful in implement family planning policies advocating two children by successfully promoting girl child education, which in turn will bring awareness for the small family, he said.

During his visit Kalam, known as "Missile Man" was also invited to the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), the premier body in-charge of the country's burgeoning space programme, where its top officials evinced interest in collaboration for a space solar power mission with India.