Ties with China go beyond boundary question: Tharoor

Shashi Tharoor

"Relationship (Sino-India) should not be seen only in the context of the problems, it should also be seen in the context of the opportunity," he said when asked about the just-concluded India-China border talks last week.

Tharoor said, "We are very pleased to say that, by and large, even the fact of the border talks is confirmation that the relationship remains fundamentally healthy."

The Special representatives of India and China, National Security Advisor M K Narayanan and Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo held the 13th round of talks on the vexed boundary issue in New Delhi on August 7.

Noting that China had recently become India's single largest trade partner, the minister said looking at the export and import sector without the IT services, China has overtaken the US.

Tharoor said there was an increase in the number of tourists coming from China to India.

"A large number of tourist VISAs are issued to Chinese tourists to come to India. They may be discovering India as an important tourist destination".

Asked about the reports that Pakistan had claimed the bodies of terrorists involved in the Mumbai attacks, Tharoor said, "Apparenty there was a denial of the reports. I cannot comment on the press reports. Some press say yes and some say no. Until I know the facts, I cannot comment."

On a question about the status of Sarabjit Singh, who has been sentenced to death and is in a Pakistan jail, he said "We have expressed publicly the hope that clemency will be given by Pakistan purely on humanitarian and compassionate ground and the matter is in the hands of Pakistani executive authorities."

"We hope that they (Pakistan) will act in a humanitarian spirit," Tharoor said.

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