Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy on a visit to Beijing has made a pitch for India and China to work more closely on counterterrorism, even as he voiced his support for the Chinese government’s efforts in tackling terrorism in Xinjiang amid renewed criticism aimed at its policies after fresh violence this week.
Dr. Swamy, who was here at the invitation of the World Peace Forum, a diplomacy conference co-hosted by Beijing’s Tsinghua University and the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said India and China should come together, especially in Afghanistan, considering their common concerns on terror. His comments came during a week in which the issue has been in the spotlight in China following violence in Xinjiang that left at least 35 people killed. While official media described the incident in Turpan as an act of terrorism, many minority Uighur rights groups have blamed ethnic unrest for the violence. U.S. State Department spokesperson Patrick Ventrell said last week the U.S. was “deeply concerned by the ongoing reports of discrimination” in Xinjiang. Dr. Swamy on Saturday hit out at the U.S., saying its comments were “damaging to the fight against terrorism”, adding that China needed “to review its relations with Pakistan since some of these Xinjiang terrorists are also of Pakistani origin.”
At the Tsinghua forum, he also made a pitch for India and China to move beyond the boundary dispute. “India and China should be strategic partners, not adversaries. The gain in Asian stability and international security would be enormous,” he said. He also called on China to accept the McMahon Line - the effective boundary in the eastern section of the border with India, which China disputes – to end the row, as it had done with Myanmar. “Such an acceptance will vastly improve India China relations,” he said.
( Report by ANANTH KRISHNAN in The Hindu, June 29 )