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India hopeful of China’s support

ASIAN GIANTS: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Hu Jintao arrive for the G5 meeting on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Sapporo, Japan, on Tuesday.

ASIAN GIANTS: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Hu Jintao arrive for the G5 meeting on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Sapporo, Japan, on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: AFP

K. Venugopal

Sapporo: On a day when the Left parties announced the withdrawal of support to the government over the nuclear deal, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh heard Chinese President Hu Jintao express his country’s willingness to cooperate with India in developing civil nuclear energy.

Briefing the Indian media about the bilateral talks here on Tuesday, on the margins of the G8 summit, Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon noted that Dr. Singh mentioned the civil nuclear cooperation deal which had been discussed earlier with President Hu Jintao.

Mr. Menon said that as the Prime Minister mentioned on Monday at his news conference en route to Japan: “We do not anticipate there will be any difficulty about it.”

China is an important member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group whose approval is needed for India to secure international cooperation for its nuclear electricity programme.

However, a report on the meeting put out by China’s official news agency, Xinhua, did not specifically mention “nuclear energy” having been discussed, but quoted Mr. Hu as saying, “China is willing to work with the Indian side to promote cooperation and exchanges in various fields, continuously substantialise the China-India strategic partnership, and advance the stable, sound and long-term development of bilateral relations.”

Mr. Menon said the two leaders spoke about the very rapid development of the economic relationship, the two-way trade in the first five months of this year having exceeded $24 billion, a 74 per cent increase over the same period the previous year.

“All in all, it was a positive and constructive meeting that covered the full gamut of bilateral relations,” he said.

The Chinese President began the meeting mentioning the blast in Kabul, expressing China’s strong views on terrorism and offered his condolences to the families of those who lost their lives.

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