New Delhi: India is not part of any “so-called contain China” effort and its engagement with Beijing is a “priority” and “imperative necessity,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Thursday.

“I have made it clear to the Chinese leadership that India is not part of any so-called contain China effort,” he told reporters when asked about the four-nation security dialogue among the U.S., Japan, Australia and India.

Dr. Singh, who is making his maiden visit to China as Prime Minister from Sunday, said there was “no misunderstanding” between India and China on the proposed dialogue among the four nations which, he added, “never got going.”

“Imperative necessity”

“China is our largest neighbour and in many ways engagement with China is an imperative necessity,” Dr. Singh said on the sidelines of a function to launch the India and Global Affairs magazine being brought by the prominent Marathi daily, Sakaal.

Dr. Singh, who will hold talks with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao and call on President Hu Jintao during his three-day visit, said: “We will discuss all issues with frankness and friendship. Engagement with China is a priority.” — PTI