Jairam meets Chidambaram

Jairam meets Chidambaram

 Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh comes out of the North Block after a meeting with Union Home Minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI

The meeting that took place at the Home Minister’s North Block office in the capital comes in the backdrop of Ramesh’s comments that the Indian security establishment was “paranoid and alarmist” over China.
He had said that there was danger that cooperation with China flowing from the Copenhagen spirit would end unless New Delhi changed “a needlessly restrictive, alarmist approach” to Chinese investment in infrastructure. Chidambaram, in a letter to the Prime Minister, had protested Ramesh’s remarks.

Joining the issue with Ramesh, Defence Minister Antony made it clear that India was not paranoid over China and added that the Sino-Indian bilateral relations were improving despite the border dispute.

The government has taken a conscious policy decision to maintain “very cordial and friendly” relations with all the neighbours, he said while interacting with the media after inaugurating a conference of Defence Accounts Controllers here. “Our government has a policy to maintain good and friendly relations with our neighbours. That applies to China also. China is our largest trading partner. That should explain it,” he said.

Noting that the Sino-Indian border disputes still existed, the Defence Minister said the two governments had evolved mechanisms to talk about these disputes. “Despite these disputes, our relations are improving (with China) in all aspects. Our cultural relations are improving. Regarding my ministry, disputes are there but military relations are improving,” he said citing the example of two Sino-Indian army exercises held in the last three years and the visit of defence secretary Pradeep Kumar to China earlier this year.

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