China is expected to maintain a careful watch on whether the deal can lead to strengthening of India’s nuclear weapon programme at a level capable of competing with China or threatening its ally Pakistan. What stand Beijing will adopt...particularly based on its perceived arms race in the region, is likely to generate great interest in India.
While the Party and State- controlled media in China have so far confined themselves to giving a factual account of the trust vote in New Delhi on the nuclear deal with the US, an authoritative and well-connected strategic affairs journal in Chinese language, has chosen to come out with a prompt independent comment on the subject. Appearing at a time when there are expectations of Beijing’s support to India’s case in the Nuclear suppliers Group (NSG), what has been said in the comment assumes significance.
The commentary, under the caption “ India extends hand, the US is to hold”, written by “Zhan Lue” (“Strategy” in English), ostensibly by a high level party cadre, has remarked (China Institute of International Strategic Studies, Beijing, Chinese language Online Edition, 23 July 2008) that the deal which was being considered almost dead due to the opposition coming from the ‘anti-American’ communist groups supporting the ‘Centrist government’, could be rescued by Prime Minister Singh through his act of ‘adventure and courage’; he could replace the erstwhile support of the communist groups with that of ‘regional small parties”. With the Prime Minister winning the trust vote in the Indian Parliament on 22 July 2008, a question, which remains, is whether the deal can now successfully go through the political process in the US. The write-up admitted that several legal questions may confront the deal in the US, but at the same time felt that the US Congress should be able to find time to express support for the deal, as overall it suits Washington’s interests.
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