China used its “close connections” with Left parties in India to “build domestic opposition” to the Indo-US nuclear deal between 2007 and 2008. This might have been the “first instance for China to operate politically in Indian domestic politics”.
This revelation, that could have political and diplomatic ramifications, is part of former foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale’s new book, The Long Game: How the Chinese Negotiate with India, published by Penguin Random House India, which hit the stands recently.
As Joint Secretary (East Asia), Gokhale was dealing with China in the Ministry of External Affairs in 2007-09, when the deal was being negotiated and India got a waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group (NSG) after Beijing yielded.
In his diplomatic career of 39 years, Gokhale, who is proficient in Mandarin, has spent more than 20 years in China, seven years on the China desk in MEA and seven years in East Asia. He has served as India’s ambassador to China and is considered one of the top China-watchers in the country. In January 2018, he replaced S Jaishankar as foreign secretary and retired last year.
Gokhale’s book covers six topics on which India and China negotiated in the last 75 years — starting from India’s recognition of the People’s Republic China to Tibet, nuclear tests in Pokhran, Sikkim, the Indo-US nuclear deal and Masood Azhar’s listing as a ‘global terrorist’ at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).