‘China’s security ties with Pakistan a cause of mistrust’


New Delhi : China's continuing security ties with Pakistan, including "generous gifts of nuclear weapon-related technologies and materials", remain a source of "concern and mistrust" for India even as New Delhi and Beijing improve ties, says a new book by a former foreign secretary.

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"Of greater concern and mistrust is China's security relationship with Pakistan, including generous gifts of nuclear weapon-related technologies and materials, modern conventional weapon systems and gestures of support for Pakistan in the latter's periodic confrontation or conflict with India," says Maharajkrishna Rasgotra, who retired as India's foreign secretary in the 1980s, in an introductory essay to "The New Asian Power Dynamic".

The book, edited by Rasgotra and co-published by Sage India and the Observer Research Foundation, includes well-researched papers by former ambassadors and foreign policy experts like K. Raghunath and M.K. Bhadrakumar, who explore the unfolding relationships among the five powers – the US, China, India, Japan and Russia – in the context of the rise of Asia in the global stage.

"Even in the improved climate of Sino-Indian relations, China carried out threatening troop movements along the LAC (Line of Actual Control) in Ladakh during the Kargil war to divert India's attention from the main front," writes Rasgotra.

"Pakistan's missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons bear close resemblance to Chinese missiles. These policies indicate a design to gain dominance, if not mastery, of South Asia, which India is bound to resent and resist," argues Rasgotra.

China's ambitions in the Indian Ocean are "another source of worry" for India, says the diplomat. "Though no Chinese territory borders the Indian Ocean, it is now being described in Chinese circles as 'China's next frontier'."

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will release the book.