China ‘understands’ India, but offers no support for UNSC seat

Beijing, May 27 (IANS) China still stopped short of expressing outright support for India’s Security Council aspirations, even as Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao described as a ‘forward movement’ the ‘understanding’ shown by the Chinese leadership when visiting Indian President Pratibha Patil raised the issue at talks here.

President Patil held a series of meetings with her Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao Thursday. Patil, who is on a six-day state visit to China, arrived here Wednesday.

‘China understands India’s desire, aspiration to ensure a more prominent role in the United Nations Security Council and also understands that representation of developing countries should be increased, especially in the UNSC,’ Rao told reporters Thursday evening.

The president had raised the issue of India’s interest in securing a permanent seat in an expanded and reformed UNSC. ‘The warmth of the welcome and the positive statement suggest that they are engaging with India on this issue and understand what we are trying to say,’ said Rao.

The foreign secretary described the Chinese statements as a ‘forward movement’ and ‘positive development’.

‘We will now stay in close touch with them and talk about it,’ she added.

Rao even went on to say that the Chinese response on the subject was ‘not guarded or diplomatic language’.

‘It was establishment of perfect communication,’ she asserted.

The top Indian diplomat said that India and China will have ‘dialogue and communication’ over the subject, just as they had managed to evolve a common position at the climate change talks at Copenhagen last year.

Chinese President Hu has reasserted support for India’s bid for a non-permanent seat in the UNSC for 2011-12, Rao added.

The Indian president also discussed the boundary dispute. ‘She laid great importance on peace and tranquility in border areas,’ noted Rao.

Asked if Patil raised the issue of China’s nuclear deal with Pakistan and building of a Chinese dam over the Brahmaputra, she said: ‘No. It was not taken up. We discussed strategic and cooperative partnership.’