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East Asia meet to have China tilt

Can't check them, will wait and watch. Jayanth Jacob reports.

delhi Updated: Nov 17, 2011 01:50 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times

China will be the flavour of the East Asia summit — which the Americans want to see as the primary political and military establishment in Asia — that is scheduled to begin in Indonesia later this week.

But New Delhi does not subscribe to the positioning of keeping China in check, saying Beijing is too big to be contained in any such fashion. Rather, New Delhi prefers to take a wait-and-watch stance on the structure of the summit.

On the sidelines, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will hold bilateral talks with both US President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, in that order, on Friday.

Singh will embark on a four-day trip on Thursday during which he will also pay a bilateral visit to Singapore, besides attending East Asia and India ASEAN (Association for South East Asian countries).

Ahead of the summit — comprising the 10-member ASEAN and its dialogue partners, including China, Japan, India, Russia, the US — Chinese state media accused the US and Philippines of planning a “grab” for its resources over the issue of South China over which Beijing claims complete sovereignty.

Indian officials said there could be discussions “in vague terms” on such issues as energy was the key topic of the discussion, but bilateral disputes will not be on the summit agenda. The US and Philippines are planning to step up defence co-operation, besides calling for multi-lateral talks on the South China Sea, the port just got stirred.

Meanwhile, China has termed India’s decision to beef up the security along the border with it by deploying one lakh additional troops as a “sensitive move”, People’s Daily said, adding it would result in raising tensions harming New Delhi’s interest.

First Published: Nov 16, 2011 23:22 IST