india 'overtly cautious' about china's sensitivities, but beijing does not reciprocate: parliamentary panel

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NEW DELHI: India is "overtly cautious" about China's sensitivities on Taiwan and Tibet, but Beijing does not show the same deference to New Delhi's sovereignty concerns, a parliamentary panel has said, urging the government to contemplate using all options in its China policy, including ties with Taiwan.

In a report tabled in Parliament, the Committee on External Affairs, headed by former minister of state in EAM Shashi Tharoor, noted India does not accord any diplomatic recognition to Taiwan despite the flourishing nature of exchanges between the two sides.

The ministry has argued that it does not want to "upend" this policy of the Indian government in deference to China's sensitivity on the matter, the report said.

"It comes as a matter of concern to the committee that even when India is overtly cautious about China's sensitivities while dealing with Taiwan and Tibet, China does not exhibit the dame deference while dealing with India's sovereignty concerns, be it in the case of Arunachal Pradesh or that of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir," the report said.

The committee said that given China's muscular approach of late while dealing with some issues pertaining to India, it is difficult for it to be content with India continuing with its conventionally deferential foreign policy towards China.

"Dealing with a country like China essentially requires a flexible approach. The committee strongly feels that the government should contemplate using all options including its relations with Taiwan, as part of such an approach," the report said.

The committee also noted that significant inroads had been made by China in India's neighbourhood and their impact on the country's outreach activities in those countries.

The panel said that despite the ministry's "ambivalence" on whether this reflects some sort of a deliberate encirclement policy of India by China, it was inclined to see it as nothing less than a "veiled containment policy".

On China's One Belt One Road initiative, the panel said that its details are unravelling, and it is becoming increasingly apparent that the BRI has been rooted in opaqueness and appears to be a vehicle for Chinese "hegemonic, Geo-political, financial and commercial interests".

The committee said that India, as a responsible member of the comity of nations, had earnestly pointed out the fundamental flaws in BRI related to lack of universally recognised international norms, good governance, rule of law, openness, transparency and equality.

The panel said that it was perturbed to note that despite India's strong sovereignty objections to China-Pakistan Economic corridor (CPEC), it is being openly "trumpeted as a gift to Pakistan by China".

The panel said that it wants India to take up the matter of CPEC at various international fora, so as to make its opposition clear and to simultaneously put pressure on China for making it realise its double standards.

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