New Delhi: China was a major focus during
talks between US Defence Secretary Robert Gates and Indian
political leadership during his two-day visit.
In particular, China`s defence modernisation programme
and the impact of such a military build up to the security
situation in the Indian Ocean region and Asian countries were
the focus of the talks, Gates told reporters here, wrapping up
In his discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,
External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and Defence Minister A K
Antony, Gates said the two sides talked in "generic terms"
about China and issues of mutual interest, apart from security
in the Indian Ocean and "global commons" that he listed out as
"air, sea, space, internet and ether."
"During my meetings with Singh and other leaders, we
discussed China`s military modernisation programme, what it
means and what are the intentions of that military build-up,"
he said to a specific question.
"I cannot talk about the desire on the Indian side, but I
have to talk about the desire on our side to engage China in
more routine and in-depth dialogue about strategic issues,"
Referring to his own role in engaging the former Soviet
Union on nuclear arms reduction, he said though it had not
contributed to reducing the number of nuclear arsenal on both
sides, it did help in greater understanding. "I think such a
dialogue with China will be more productive," he said.