News


DATE=5/5/98
TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
NUMBER=2-231707
TITLE=CHINA /INDIA (L)
BYLINE=ROGER WILKISON
DATELINE=BEIJING
CONTENT=
VOICED AT:  

INTRO:  CHINA HAS LASHED OUT AT INDIAN DEFENSE MINISTER GEORGE 
FERNANDES, WHO --TWO DAYS AGO-- CALLED CHINA THE BIGGEST 
POTENTIAL THREAT TO INDIA'S SECURITY.  V-O-A CORRESPONDENT ROGER 
WILKISON REPORTS CHINA IS SAYING MR.  FERNANDES' REMARKS HAVE 
SABOTAGED THE ATMOSPHERE FOR IMPROVING RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO 
COUNTRIES.

TEXT:  MR. FERNANDES -- A FIERY FORMER LABOR LEADER -- TOLD 
INDIAN  TELEVISION THAT CHINA HAS SURROUNDED INDIA WITH MILITARY 
AND NAVAL  INSTALLATIONS AND THAT IT HAS STOCKPILED NUCLEAR 
WEAPONS IN TIBET, ALONG THE BORDER WITH INDIA.

CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN ZHU BANGZAO DENIES MR. 
FERNANDES' ALLEGATIONS.  SPEAKING THROUGH AN INTERPRETER, MR. ZHU
TOLD REPORTERS TUESDAY THAT CHINA DOES NOT POSE A THREAT TO ANY 
OTHER COUNTRY.

         /////INTERPRETER ACT/////

 THIS SO-CALLED ARGUMENT THAT CHINA IS THE BIGGEST POTENTIAL 
THREAT TO INDIA IS ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS AND IS NOT WORTHY OF 
REFUTATION.

          /////END ACT/////

THE INDIAN DEFENSE MINISTER ALSO SAID CHINA IS TRAINING AND 
EQUIPPING BURMA'S ARMY AND HAS SET UP AN ELECTRONIC SURVEILLANCE 
FACILITY ON BURMA'S COCO ISLANDS.  CHINESE SPOKESMAN ZHU SAYS 
SUCH ACCUSATIONS ARE -- IN HIS WORDS --  ABSOLUTELY FICTITIOUS 
AND ENTIRELY BASELESS.

MR. FERNANDES' LATEST REMARKS FOLLOWED THE FIRST-EVER VISIT TO 
INDIA BY A CHINESE ARMY CHIEF.  CHINA AND INDIA FOUGHT A BRIEF 
BUT BITTER BORDER WAR IN 1962, WHICH LED TO A 14-YEAR DIPLOMATIC 
FREEZE.  THE VISIT BY GENERAL FU QUANYOU WAS SEEN BY DIPLOMATS AS
AN INDICATION OF IMPROVED TIES BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES.  BUT 
FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN ZHU SAYS MR. FERNANDES' ALLEGATIONS 
HAVE HARMED THOSE TIES.

           /////INTERPRETER ACT/////

 THE REMARKS BY FERNANDES SERIOUSLY SABOTAGE THE FAVORABLE 
ATMOSPHERE FOR  IMPROVING BILATERAL RELATIONS BETWEEN CHINA AND 
INDIA.  CHINA CANNOT BUT EXPRESS ITS UTMOST REGRET AND 
RESENTMENT.

         /////END ACT/////

THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME CHINA HAS EXPRESSED ITS ANGER AT 
REMARKS BY THE TOUGH-TALKING INDIAN DEFENSE MINISTER.  TWO WEEKS 
AGO, MR. FERNANDES  ACCUSED CHINA OF MAKING REPEATED INCURSIONS 
INTO NORTHEASTERN INDIA.  CHINA CALLED THE ACCUSATION UNFOUNDED 
AND IRRESPONSIBLE.   MR. FERNANDES ALSO CHARGED BEIJING WITH 
PROVIDING INDIA'S ARCH-RIVAL, PAKISTAN, WITH THE TECHNOLOGY TO 
BUILD A NEWLY TESTED MISSILE.  BEIJING DENIED THAT ACCUSATION 
TOO. (SIGNED) 

NEB/RW/FC

05-May-98 6:09 AM EDT (1009 UTC)
NNNN

Source: Voice of America
.