‘China mulling trilateral dialogue with India, US’

China is seriously considering having a tri-lateral dialogue with India and the US, proposed by the Obama Administration, Robert Blake said.

Washington: China is seriously considering having a tri-lateral dialogue with India and the United States, the proposal for which has been made by the Obama Administration, a US official has told lawmakers.

Both India and the US are going to continue to try to engage China, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake said during a Congressional hearing on South Asia convened by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Sub Committee on the Middle East and South Asia.

"We`ve actually proposed a trilateral US-China-India dialogue, and I think that the Chinese are seriously considering that now. We hope that they will agree to that. One of the most interesting early topics for discussion would be Afghanistan because we believe there are ways that we could work together in that country," he said in response to question from Congressman Steve Chabot, Chairman of the Subcommittee.

"The simultaneous rise of the two world`s most populous countries has elicited anxieties in both New Delhi and Beijing. The dynamics of the triangular US-India-China relationships are likely to be critical to fostering global stability and prosperity in the 21st century. How do you see these things progressing in coming years?" Chabot asked.

"And additionally, anti-Indian rhetoric has become more common in China`s state-run media. Some hawkish Indian analysts assert that China`s newly muscular stance towards India is a direct result of the US-India strategic partnership. To what extent if any do you agree with that particular assessment?" the Congressman asked.

In response both the United States and India have continuously stressed that their expanded strategic engagement is not coming at the expense of China and that neither one of them are seeking to contain China.

"On the contrary, both of us are seeking to engage China wherever possible," he noted.

"In my own case I have very productive dialogues with my Chinese counterparts both on South Asia and on Central Asia to try to encourage more cooperative efforts between us and at least understand what each of us are trying to get accomplished in each of these important regions for us. And I must say that the quality of those dialogues has really improved over the last several years," he said.

"Another kind of important factor to note is that Sino- Indian trade has grown very, very fast, so that has given both of those countries an enormous stake in each other`s success, and I think has helped to give them incentive to work through some of the very tough border and other issues that they have," Blake said.