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WikiLeaks: Chinese envoy exceeded Arunachal brief
New Delhi, May 29 (Agencies):
Published on 29 May. 2011 10:47 PM IST
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It was a huge row and just a week before China’s President Hu Jinto was to make a crucial visit to India. In November 2006, China’s Ambassador to India, Sun Yuxi, aggressively claimed that Arunachal Pradesh was a part of China. In India, it made headlines.
Now, Wikileaks cables, released first and exclusively to NDTV, reveal that Sun’s statement did not just shock India, it also took the mandarins in Beijing by surprise.
A cable that describes conversations between American Embassy officials in Beijing with both Chinese Foreign Ministry officials and Indian Embassy officials in China, show that Beijing was clearly worried that Sun’s brash claim over Arunachal could spoil Hu Jintao’s visit to India.
Huang Xilian, who ran the Indian desk at Beijing, is quoted in the cable as telling an American diplomat, “Beijing was not aware of Sun’s remarks at the time Sun made them and that Huang had to call Sun to get details...”
The Chinese Foreign Ministry began damage control, clarifying to the Indian Embassy in Beijing, “that China had not instructed Ambassador Sun to speak on the border issue” and that his statement had taken them by surprise.
An Indian diplomat in Beijing was quoted in the cable as saying that China “was embarrassed by Sun’s statement and his ‘bizarre behavior’ before a very important high-level exchange.”
The diplomat reportedly said that this was not the first time that Sun had “embarrassed” China. He cited an example: “Beijing and Delhi had agreed to jointly announce President Hu’s visit to India but “Sun beat everyone to the punch and unilaterally announced the visit.” He was also reported as having told US embassy officials that “New Delhi is not attributing any ulterior motives to Sun’s ‘outburst’.”
There are other indications that Beijing was taken by surprise. When China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Jiang Yu, was asked about Sun’s comment, she said, “I have not seen such a report. I will make a double check.”
The Indian media got its share of a worried China’s stick. Huang said Sun Yuxi, was “taken out of context” by the Indian media, which was trying to “make trouble” before President Hu’s visit.
Huang also addressed Indian apprehensions over President Hu’s 7-day visit to Pakistan, saying: India is “very clear about China’s cooperation with Pakistan in all fields and that (Beijing and New Delhi) frequently exchange views” about it.
The cable noted that, “China and India are working closely together to ensure that President Hu Jintao’s November 20-23 trip to India is a success... In separate meetings, both (Indian and Chinese) officers confirmed that recent press statements made by China’s Ambassador to India on the border dispute and resulting press stories suggesting a cooling off in relations are not reflective of the true state of the bilateral relationship.”

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