Ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s meeting with outgoing Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Monday and an outside chance of an interaction with US President Barack Obama, who won a second term in office, India indicated that the focus will be on economic issues.
While all issues will be on the table during the meeting with Mr. Wen, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said New Delhi is looking at more collaborations with Beijing in key infrastructure and manufacturing sectors besides continuing with its ``lively discussions’’ on the issue of a fair trade balance and market access for India in the pharmaceutical and IT industries.
Terming a stable bilateral relationship as important for the two countries as well as the entire region, Mr. Sharma said the Government was ``confident, strong, stable and committed’’ to carry forward all initiatives aimed at improving ties.
Highly placed sources who did not wish to be identified were more forthcoming on Indian expectations during Mr. Obama’s second term as US President. ``It would be interesting to see how far he wants to go on many issues. Their domestic economic concerns don’t work for us. We will continue to urge them to accept out interests,’’ they said.
India is keen for the US to address its concerns on protectionism especially after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described its retooling of policy on foreign direct investment as a ``breakthrough’’ and stated that Washington was ``pleased’’ with the loosening of restrictions.
At the same time India will continue to be engaged with the US on a number of other issues of political and geopolitical significance such as the upcoming trilateral meeting involving the two and Afghanistan, joint development forays in Africa and seeking to coordinate their views on East and West Asia.
The sources also pointed to the areas of divergence between the two such as New Delhi’s aversion to ``joining hands to contain or tilt the scales against another country. We will not be a party to it.’’