"It is (even more) unacceptable that India claims to have conducted the tests to counter what it called a China threat."
- Chinese Vice-Premier Qian Qichen, in the Peoples Daily, May 20, 1998.
M UCH water has flowed down the Yangtze since that statement was made. In that time, India has managed to patch, if not mend, fences with most of the powers that had reacted with shocked anger at Indias nuclear tests. US President Bill Clintons endorsement of India, Russias and Frances reiteration of support to Indias candidature for a permanent seat at the UN security council, UK foreign secretary Robin Cooks India visit, President K.R. Narayanans visit to France-all indicate that the major powers have, however grudgingly, accepted that India is now a nuclear power as well as a major economic one.
President Narayanan is also slated to visit China from May 28 to June 3. But at the 12th Sino-Indian Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting in Delhi last week, there was no official sign of Beijing softening its...