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US wants bigger role for China

Seeking to strike common ground with China on key matters related to South Asia, the US has said it wants Beijing to “coordinate more” with its efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan to “disrupt, dismantle and defeat” Al-Qaeda.

world Updated: May 05, 2010 23:42 IST

Seeking to strike common ground with China on key matters related to South Asia, the US has said it wants Beijing to “coordinate more” with its efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan to “disrupt, dismantle and defeat” Al-Qaeda.

US Assistant Secretary for South Asia Robert Blake, who held talks with his Chinese counterparts on a host of issues concerning South Asia, said Washington wants Beijing to “coordinate more” with its efforts in Afghanistan and Pakistan. “Washington’s highest strategic priorities is to help Afghanistan and Pakistan to disrupt, dismantle and defeat Al-Qaeda and its affiliates entrenched along the two countries’ border,” Blake said.

“This is an interest that China shares with the US and Pakistan. So we discussed ways that China can coordinate and contribute to international efforts in these two countries,” he added.

The talks were part of preparatory meetings ahead of the Sino-US strategic dialogue beginning on May 23 to be attended among others by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The issues discussed during Blake’s talks with China apparently included those relating to India as well as Chinese plans to build two nuclear reactors for Pakistan.

“The purpose of the dialogue is to have a wide-ranging dialogue on all of the issues in South Asia — not just Afghanistan or Pakistan, but also India, the situation in Nepal, and the situation in Sri Lanka,” media quoted Blake as saying.