China backs closer US-Indo ties: Envoy

Chinese envoy Sun Yuxi said Beijing backs the Indo-US N-deal aimed at giving New Delhi crucial access to civilian technology.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2006 12:46 IST

China supports closer ties between India and the United States and backs a landmark Indo-US nuclear deal aimed at giving New Delhi crucial access to civilian technology, the Chinese ambassador in New Delhi said.

"Every government has the right to develop its energy programme. Given India is a rising country in the developing world, we fully understand your energy needs," Chinese Ambassador Sun Yuxi said, according to a report late on Thursday.

"We are happy" about the Indian-US nuclear accord, the Press Trust of India quoted Sun as saying.

The envoy's statements came amid mounting uncertainty over whether the pact signed last July aimed at giving India long-denied civilian technology to help fuel its booming economy would come into effect.

New Delhi and Washington are at odds over a plan to split India's civilian and military facilities as stipulated by the deal.

India is unhappy over US calls to open more Indian installations to international inspection.

The envoy added China wants to "see India have better relations with the US" just as Beijing is working toward improving relations with Washington.

Analysts say the United States has been seeking warmer relations with India, which it views increasingly as a counterweight to China's growing power.

Sun also said China's President Hu Jintao was expected to visit India later this year and the two sides were considering a visit to Beijing by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Relations between Beijing and New Delhi were chilly for years following a bitter border war but since the late 1990s, ties have warmed dramatically.

During a visit last year by China's Premier Wen Jiabao, the nations agreed on a roadmap to resolve their festering border row. The next boundary talks are expected to be held in New Delhi in mid-March, the Chinese envoy said.

He also said Beijing hoped India would refrain from sending "any wrong" signal to the "Taiwanese independence forces" and keep up its "adherence to the One Chine policy," the Press Trust of India said.

The envoy's followed Taiwanese media reports that Taiwan's Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang plans to lead a trade mission to India and Bangladesh in May to explore investment opportunities.

Taiwanese businesses may seek to use India and Bangladesh as a springboard to enter the trade network of member nations of the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), the media reports have said.

The Chinese envoy said India had always recognised Taiwan as part of China, a stance that he said was appreciated by Beijing.

First Published: Feb 17, 2006 12:46 IST