China Urged To Point
Missiles At India
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The Beijing Military Academy has recommended China redeploy medium- and long-range missiles against India following New Delhi's nuclear tests last year, Indian newspapers said on Thursday.
"One important recommendation, which China has put into action, is to redeploy medium- and long-range missiles against India to 'ensure nuclear balance in Chinese favor'," The Pioneer said in a front-page article.
The Times of India, quoting defense sources in New Delhi, said the military academy paper recommended China seek Western sanctions against India, led by the United States, and seek to isolate India on the international stage.
"The document says that China should penalize India for its alleged 'anti-China' stance and highlight 'India's hegemonistic designs'," it said.
India's ministries of defense and foreign affairs said they had no immediate comment on the reports.
China said it had not changed its policies in the wake of the tests.
"There have been no changes on the position of the Chinese government," Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi told reporters.
"We hope and are willing to making efforts to develop friendly relations with India on the basis of the five principles of peaceful coexistence."
The Indian reports came as Chinese state media said Beijing had urged India to adopt a more long-term approach to their relations and stamp out "undesirable disturbances" affecting ties.
During a meeting with visiting members of India's opposition Congress party, Vice President Hu Jintao said relations between the two neighbors had progressed "along a normal track," but "progress has suffered undesirable disturbances."
India's Pioneer said that despite strong pressure from both China and the United States, India would go ahead with the development of longer-range versions of its Agni ballistic missile.
Agni, part of India's indigenous missile development program, was last tested in February 1994. It is seen as a potential deterrent to nuclear-armed China.
The Hindu nationalist-led government, which stunned the world with India's first nuclear tests for nearly a quarter of a century shortly after taking power, cleared plans for development of Agni's second phase last year.
The nuclear tests jolted relations between India and China, setting back years of painstaking diplomacy and reviving memories of a brief border war between the two nations in 1962.
India has said its tests were not aimed at any particular country. But in a letter to U.S. President Bill Clinton to explain why they were carried out, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had cited an "atmosphere of distrust" in relations with China.
New Delhi has also accused China of providing its arch-rival, Pakistan, with missile technology, a charge Beijing denies.
The Pioneer said the Beijing Military Academy paper recommended an intensification of efforts "to sow discord between India and its neighbors."
Uday Bhaskar, deputy director of the Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses in New Delhi, said he was treating the report of the military academy recommendations with caution.
"It's a very logical development. When you have a neighboring country doing nuclear tests you obviously have a review," he said. "But I would be a little more prudent and try and see the report."