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Guess who’s behind China chill? US lobbies,says Karat

At a time when the spotlight is on Sino-Indian relations,CPM general secretary Prakash Karat has blamed pro-US “lobbies” within India...

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi |
October 3, 2009 4:43:57 am

At a time when the spotlight is on Sino-Indian relations,CPM general secretary Prakash Karat has blamed pro-US “lobbies” within India for “the recent efforts to create complications in India-China relations” while his colleague and CITU chief M K Pandhe has demanded work visas for Chinese workers in India,saying they are “technicians” — an euphemism for skilled workers — and not semi-skilled or unskilled hands.

Writing in the CPM mouthpiece People’s Democracy,Karat rejected reports of hostile manoeuvres by Beijing as “either baseless or highly exaggerated”.

“The rising economic power of the two Asian giants — China and India — is presented as a source of conflict between the two. In strategic terms,China is sought to be pitted against India. Those dominating the world economic order would like nothing better than a relationship of rivalry and conflict between China and India,” Karat wrote in an apparent reference to the US.

Claiming that there is “active lobbying” to buy arms from the US, Karat quoted a Washington Post report which claimed that retired US admirals and generals,who now work for defence firms,have been lobbying to secure military deals while top US commanders,who regularly visit India,unfailingly point to the military threat posed by China.

“The recent efforts to create complications in India-China relations must be seen in this context. Within India,the lobbies that want the strategic alliance with the United States to be cemented are precisely those who seek to thwart the potential of India-China cooperation,” Karat said.

His colleague Pandhe,who is a politburo member and head of labour outfit CITU,contested the government finding that some 25,000 Chinese workers in India are semi-skilled or unskilled. He told The Indian Express that the “Chinese who have come here are actually technicians and not workers” as “no employer in India would prefer a Chinese unskilled worker when cheap labour is easily available here.”

“There are certain technical jobs for which skill is not available here. They are also training Indian workers and they will go back after that,” he said.

On the Home Ministry claim that it has identified around 25,000 Chinese workers who are here on business visas but have been doing unskilled and semi-skilled jobs,Pandhe said: “I don’t know the details of that. But it is common sense that no employer will bring labour on higher costs. Travel expenses of one person itself would come to Rs 30,000.”

Asking the government to issue work visas to the “technicians” from China,Pandhe said a large number of Indian skilled workers,especially IT professionals,are working in China . “Our people will also not get visas. You will have to see the repercussions,” he said.

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