2 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, April 12, 2005
India, China form strategic alliance NEWS IN BRIEF
NEW DELHI (AP) - India and China agreed
yesterday to form a "strategic partnership," creat-
ing a diplomatic bond between Asia's two emerging
powers that would tie together nearly one-third of the
The agreement, announced during a South Asia
tour by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, reflects a major
shift in relations between the two nuclear countries,
whose ties have long been defined by mutual suspi-
cion. It is also another step in a charm offensive by
Beijing, which is trying to build ties with its neighbors
and ensure regional stability for economic growth.
The United States, which has also courted warmer
ties with India, welcomed efforts by New Delhi and
Beijing to find ways of cooperating.
"This is an important visit. We are working to pro-
mote friendly ties of cooperation between our two
countries," Wen said after a ceremonial welcome by
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at New Delhi's
Wen also has been to Pakistan, Bangladesh and
Sri Lanka in recent days, hoping to reassure its
neighbors that increasing clout does not make it a
"Some people are worried that a stronger and more
developed China would pose a threat to other countries.
Such worry is completely misplaced," Wen told a meet-
ing of Asian officials in the Pakistani capital, Islam-
abad, last week.
But the agreement with India also underscored the
power the two nations are increasingly comfortable
"India and China can together reshape the world
order," Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Left out of the equation, for now, was the United
States, which announced last month it wanted to help
India become a world power. However, India and
China, which together have a population of more than
2.3 billion, took care not to offend the United States
Chinese leaders insist they're not worried about
the warming U.S.-India ties, despite Washington's
apparent attempts to counter China's power in Asia by
boosting India's economic and political profile.
Last month, U.S. officials announced the sale of F-16
jet fighters to Pakistan and signaled that India could move
ahead with its own weapon buys. India expressed "great
disappointment" over the sale and said doing so would tilt
the military balance in the region and could harm India-
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao addresses a business meeting in New Delhi, India yesterday. Indian
and Chinese leaders agreed to create a "strategic partnership for peace and prosperity."
Pakistan peace talks that began last year. The sale will
likely be discussed Thursday on a visit to Washington by
Indian External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh.
In Washington, a State Department official said the
United States welcomed the meetings between India and
China, especially if they can lead to peace, prosperity
and security, not only in the region but also globally.
Analysts said the agreement would not be a major
concern for Washington.
"I think the U.S. doesn't have a problem" with
China and India growing closer, said Teresita Schaf-
fer, a former State Department expert on South Asia
now with the Washington-based Center for Strategic
and International Studies. "The U.S. should see this
as a stabilizing factor in the region. ... I realize some
people will interpret this in a classic balance-of-power
sense, but I don't think that's how the United States is
looking at it right now."
China and India, which fought a brief war in 1962
over border disagreements, sealed their agreement
with the joint statement and a set of accords aimed at
ending one longstanding border dispute and boosting
"The leaders of the two countries have therefore
agreed to establish an India-China strategic and coop-
erative partnership for peace and prosperity," the
The partnership would promote diplomatic relations,
economic ties and contribute to the two nations "jointly
addressing global challenges and threats," it said.
Under the agreement, China has recognized the
Himalayan territory of Sikkim as a part of India, and
the two reached consensus on principles leading to an
overall settlement of their decades-old boundary dis-
putes, said Shyam Saran, a top official in the External
Bush, Sharon discuss peace in Texas
President Bush told Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon yesterday he must not
allow further West Bank settlement growth and said Israeli and Palestinian doubts
about each other were hampering peace prospects.
In response, Sharon said that Israel would abide by the internationally
negotiated "road map" peace plan, which calls for a settlement freeze, but
would keep some large Jewish population blocs in the West Bank under its
At a joint news conference on Bush's ranch, both leaders sounded pessimistic
about near-term prospects for peace.
Sharon said Israel would not move forward on the road map until Palestinian
leader Mahmoud Abbas did more to disarm militant groups and brought about "a
full cessation of terror, hostilities and incitement."
"We will continue with the negotiations only after Palestinians agree to stop the
terror," Sharon said.
Bush cited "a lack of confidence in the region. I can understand that. There's
been a lot of death. A lot of innocent people have lost their lives. And there's just
not a lot of confidence on either side."
Auditors question Iraq construction costs
Pentagon auditors have questioned nearly $122 million in costs claimed by Hal-
liburton under contracts to rebuild Iraq's oil industry and supply fuel to its citizens,
according to records released yesterday.
The Democratic congressman who released the audits said the Bush administra-
tion had withheld the amounts of the questioned costs from the U.N. board over-
seeing Iraq reconstruction. California Rep. Henry Waxman is a longtime critic of
the administration's treatment of Halliburton, which Vice President Dick Cheney
headed from 1995 to 2000.
Cheney and the Pentagon have said the vice president plays no role in contract
decisions. Both the company and the Defense Department say Halliburton was not
given preferential treatment.
"Halliburton has been a good steward of the taxpayers' dollars," company
spokeswoman Beverly Scippa said yesterday. She said Halliburton has cooperated
with the audits.
"This is all part of the normal contracting process, and it is important to note
that the auditors' role is advisory only," Scippa said in a statement.
JE RUSA LE M
Concerns grow overJewish settler resistance
The Israeli military plans to disarm residents of four Jewish settlements
in the West Bank two weeks before the communities are to be dismantled
this summer, officials said yesterday, reflecting growing concern that settler
resistance in the West Bank will be far more difficult to put down than in the
fenced-in Gaza Strip.
Access for Israeli extremists already living in the West Bank to the four tiny
northern settlements is relatively easy, and the warning conjured images of thou-
sands of ultranationalists converging on the settlements to prevent their evacuation
- as they have resisted removal of unauthorized outposts in recent months.
Officials expressed concern about armed confrontations, and settlers said yester-
day they would not hand in their guns.
Bush's first second-term nominees confirmed
The Senate yesterday confirmed the first of President Bush's second-term judi-
cial nominees as senators continued to argue over Democrats blocking the White
House's most wanted candidates.
Senators on a 95-0 vote confirmed Paul Crotty as a U.S. District judge for New
York state. With Crotty's confirmation, Bush has put 205 trial and appellate judges
on the federal court since becoming president.
"It is my hope that we will be able to move other nominees to the Senate floor for
confirmation," said Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.)
Democrats have blocked 10 of Bush's 52 appeals court nominations through
filibuster threats, while allowing Republicans to confirm 34 others.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports
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Dems ask Bolton why he wants U.N. job
WASHINGTON (AP) - His Senate approval to
be U.N. ambassador still in question, John Bolton told
skeptical Democrats yesterday that the world body had
"gone off track" at times but that he was committed to
Democrats at Bolton's Senate Foreign Relations
Committee confirmation hearing recited his past
undiplomatic remarks about the United Nations and
wondered aloud why he would even want the job. They
also challenged him over alleged bullying of govern-
ment intelligence officials who disagreed with him on
issues including Cuba's weapons capabilities..
"If confirmed, I pledge to fulfill the president's
vision of working in close partnership with the United
Nations," Bolton said at the start of a tense, partisan
day of debate over his temperament and record.
Bolton did not disavow statements going back more
than a decade, including a speech in which he said
"there is no such thing as the United Nations," only a
group of nations that the United States can sometimes
sway to act in its own interest.
"The United States is committed to the success of
the United Nations, and we view the U.N. as an impor-
tant component of our diplomacy," Bolton said yester-
That is a firmer statement of support for the world
body than conservatives in and out of the Bush admin-
istration have sometimes offered, and some Democrats
suggested yesterday that Bolton hadn't really been con-
Bolton retains a go-it-alone attitude about U.S. for-
eign policy that is out of step with Bush's second-term
pledge of international cooperation, said Sen. Barbara
"My overall assessment is that you have nothing but
disdain for the United Nations," she said.
"You can dance around it, you can run away from
it, you can put perfume on it, but the bottom line is
the bottom line," Boxer said. "It's hard for me to know
why you'd want to work at an institution that you said
didn't even exist."
The committee is expected to vote Thursday on
whether to promote Bolton from his current job as the
State Department's arms control chief to become the
U.S. ambassador at the United Nations.
Bolton said he would not aim to promote only
American interests at the world body. He also said the
U.N. General Assembly needs to focus more on human
rights violators and international terrorism.
"Sadly, there have been times when the General
Assembly has gone off track," Bolton said, citing the
"abominable" resolution that equated Zionism with
racism. It was repealed in 1991, with Bolton playing a
leading role as a State Department official.
The committee has 10 Republicans and eight Demo-
crats, reflecting the Republican majority in the Senate.
A straight party-line vote would send Bolton's nomi-
nation on to the full Senate for an up-or-down vote,
probably next week.
A few of the committee Democrats said they
planned to vote against Bolton, and others sounded
deeply skeptical of his qualifications. One commit-
tee Republican, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, has
expressed only lukewarm support.
"He would not be my choice for the nominee,"
Chafee told reporters yesterday, but he said he was
"inclined" to vote for Bolton.
Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), last year's losing presi-
dential candidate, has launched an Internet campaign
urging Chafee to vote no and asking people to call
Chafee to oppose Bolton. About $20,000 in Web-
based ads have been largely targeted to Internet users
in Rhode Island and financed by Kerry's political cam-
A 9-9 tie would block Bolton's nomination, at least
temporarily. The committee could then hold a second
vote on whether to send to nomination to the full Sen-
ate without the panel's recommendation, but it would
need a majority vote to do so.
Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) was one of the committee
Republicans who defended Bolton, saying that in pick-
ing a known advocate of United Nations reform, Bush
had chosen "the absolute perfect person for the job."
Bolton, 56, has served in the past three Republican
Much of yesterday's hearing focused on his record
as a boss and his use of intelligence for what Demo-
crats suggested were partisan ends. They have raised
the question of alleged retaliation against an analyst
who crossed him.
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