`Less chance of Sino-India conflict due to trade ties`

Indian companies like Infosys have opened branches in Shanghai and hired Chinese people.

Updated: Oct 30, 2011, 16:33 PM IST

Chennai: Growing trade ties and "economic
interpenetration" have reduced chances of a military conflict
between India and China though a couple of negatives seemed to
imply that "some" in Beijing wanted to `needle` New Delhi,
former Union Minister Shashi Tharoor said on Sunday.

"We have seen a couple of negatives such as the border row
which remains unsettled and they (Beijing) seem to show no
urgency to settle it. And certainly the difficulties we have
encountered (with China) with our oil exploration on
Vietnamese waters...these incidents seem to imply that there
is a desire on part of some in China to needle us," he said.

Delivering a talk on "India- An Emerging Super Power",
organised by Rotary International here, the former minister of
state for external affairs, however, said there was a positive
side to the ties between the two neighbours that was not
talked about much.

"Our trade with China has gone up in the last 20 years by
230 times (at) USD 61 billion and we are expecting it to go to
USD 100 billion by middle of this current decade," the
Congress Lok Sabha member said.

He said tourists going to Kailash and Manasarovar had no
problems due to full cooperation from the Chinese.

Indian companies like Infosys have opened branches in
Shanghai and hired Chinese people. "Chinese firms such as
Huwaez themselves are coming to India. So you got a level of
economic interepenetration that it seems to me that it makes
it even less sensible than already was for any potential
military adventure. It makes no sense as too much is at
stake," he said.

However, the former UN diplomat-turned politician warned
against any complacency, saying none should get an impression
that India was weak.

"We should keep our guard up, prepare our defences.... We
should never be so weak that we encourage people to say these
fellows are weak and we can knock them over. That we should
never do," he said.

On India`s other neighbours, while Tharoor did not want to
talk much about Pakistan, he said countries like Bangladesh,
Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Nepal were "well-disposed" towards
the country.

To meet the growing food demand, he proposed the option
of import as well as purchasing large tracts of land in
countries like Africa and bring the cultivated produce back
to India.