July 30, 2007
KNOWING WHICH SIDE THE NAAN IS GHEED ON:
Himalayan chill over Sino-Indian relations (M. D. NALAPAT, 7/30/07, UPI)
When the Congress Party took over the governance of India in 2004 with the support of India's two major communist parties, Beijing had hoped for a policy more attentive to Chinese interests. After all, Congress President Sonia Gandhi was known to be an "old friend," and the Communists were even more deferential toward Chinese interests than they were toward Indian.
Three years on, optimism has faded. Recognition has arrived that India may indeed be on the threshold of a transformational relationship, not with China but with the United States -- a country that has a finite chance of going to war with Beijing over Taiwan.
Unlike U.S. President George W. Bush, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia or even Prime Minister G. P. Koirala of Nepal, India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did not go to the airport to either receive or see off Chinese President Hu Jintao. Hu received a tepid reception on his recent visit to India, and reciprocated by issuing boilerplate soporifics that were flowery in language but severely limited in substance.