SINGAPORE, June 20, 2007 (AFP) – India’s improved bilateral relations with the United States are not intended to try and contain the growing might of China, the Indian foreign minister said Wednesday in Singapore. Mukherjee arrived in Singapore on Monday for a three-day visit. On Wednesday, he met with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and delivered a foreign policy lecture. “We do not believe in containing any country whether big or small,” Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee told an audience of academics, diplomats and government officials during a visit to the city-state.
The minister had been asked to comment on news reports that China was concerned Washington could exploit the improving relationship with India to try and counterbalance Chinese economic and diplomatic influence in Asia.
“I can assure this distinguished audience that there is no intention of us to be utilised by any power to contain any other power,” Mukherjee said after delivering a speech.
He also quoted remarks by Chinese President Hu Jintao, who said there was enough room for the two Asian nations to grow together when he paid a landmark visit to India in November last year.
Diplomatic contact between China and India has incre