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Sunday, 19 December 2010

Sino-Indian ties vital to America

NEW DELHI: The brief prepared for the late US special representative for Af-Pak Richard Holbrooke by the Indian Embassy in February 2009 notes the criticality of Sino-Indian relations for American interests that can be directly impacted from the Pacific to the Cape of Good Hope.

The cable notes that under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's leadership, India has emerged as a "responsible leader" in the region as well as Asia at large and leads by example in encouraging democracy. But it is worried by political instability in nearly every neighbouring country. It seems to value stability over democracy when it comes to foreign policy.

The pragmatic streak is evident in India's ties with China, which Indian officials describe as a "complex relationship". The dynamics of this relationship will "significantly affect not only Asia as a power centre of the 21st century, but directly impact US interests" in a wide arc.

The US embassy notes that Sino-Indian relations can easily be described "as a mutual desire to seek warmer relations through strategic dialogue". This is despite the contentious nature of border issues and emerging economic and political rivalry that may affect a broader engagement.

The cable advices Holbrooke that the moment for even greater cooperation with India might be ripe as India has welcomed US initiatives on issues like tsunami, Nepalese democracy to anti-piracy off the coast of Somalia.

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