Sino-Indian relations: What lies ahead?

Print edition : September 12, 1998

The BJP-led Government has akratically undermined Sino-Indian relations, but the situation is far from irremediable. An in-depth exploration of the view from China.

INDIA'S bilateral relations with China had been progressing nicely for a decade until, by way of a political follow-up on the Pokhran nuclear explosions, the Vajpayee Government chose to target China as one of two 'threat' factors justifying the adventure. In a letter sent to U.S. President Bill Clinton on May 11, 1998, the day of the first round of the Pokhran tests, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee explained "the rationale for the tests" thus:

I have been deeply concerned at the deteriorating security environment, especially the nuclear environment, faced by India for some years past. We have an overt nuclear weapon state on our borders, a state which committed armed aggression against India in 1962. Although our relations with that country have improved in the last decade or so, an atmosphere of distrust persists mainly due to the unresolved border problem. To add to the distrust that country has materially helped another neighbour of ours to become a covert nuclear weapons state. At the hands of this bitter neighbour we have suffered three aggressions in the last 50 years. And for the last ten years we have been the victims of unremitting terrorism and militancy sponsored by it in several parts of the country, specially Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir...The series of tests are limited in number and pose no danger to any country which has no inimical intentions towards India... (emphasis added).

Climbing the Great Wall: a strenuous, uphill task.-VIDYA RAM

The authorship of, and thinking behind, the letter immediately became a subject of media and political speculation, even as the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Government attempted -- once it realised the serious nature of its miscalculation -- to play it down. Some commentators, blaming the hamhanded missive on Brajesh Mishra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, suggested, by way of damage control, that Vajpayee had hardly read the 360-word letter before signing it. One strategic affairs analyst, conceding that there had been a "maladroit reference to the threat from China in explaining its decision to go nuclear" and also that the BJP-led Government had "mishandled" bilateral relations with China "in its early weeks in power," argued nevertheless that there was no real cause for "the unbelievably harsh Chinese response to the nuclear tests."

But whatever be the truth about the original authorship, it is clear that Vajpayee's May 11, 1998 letter to Clinton accurately expressed long-held Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Bharatiya Jan Sangh (BJS) and BJP revanchist thinking on relations with socialist China. Can there be any doubt that Vajpayee's broad hint that India and the United States could work together against China, if not forge an "anti-China axis" over the long term (as Aijaz Ahmad has suggested in his article,'The Hindutva weapon', in Frontline of June 5, 1998), belongs to this brand of geo-strategic thinking?

Chinese President and party general secretary Jiang Zemin at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, in November 1996. Flanking him are President Shankar Dayal Sharma, Prime Minister H.D.Deve Gowda and External Affairs Minister I.K.Gujral.-N.SRINIVASAN

Prime Minister Vajpayee's September 3, 1998 address to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Durban strengthens the reading that the reference to the "deteriorating security environment" and the targeting of China in the May 11, 1998 letter were neither inadvertent nor the carelessly overlooked work of another hand. While asserting that "India continues to seek good relations with all its neighbours and to work with them to build on commonalities and shared aspirations," he reiterated the rationalisation that "India's recent nuclear tests took place in a geo-political environment where our security was becoming ever more threatened by the overt and covert nuclearisation of our neighbourhood" (emphasis added). For good measure, after taking the five nuclear weapon states to task for vertical proliferation and for disregarding "completely" the commitment undertaken to work for general and complete disarmament, Vajpayee seemed to take aim at China once more by alleging that "even the undertaking to prevent the transfer of nuclear materials and technology had not been adhered to."

Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee at Pokhran on May 20, 1998. Targeting China as a "threat" in order to rationalise the nuclear explosions is deeply resented by people in China.-SHANKER CHAKRAVARTY

Historically, revanchism is a Right-wing policy of seeking to 'retaliate', especially to recover 'lost territory' from neighbouring countries. It is driven partly by motives of 'revenge', setting 'history right', partly by some grand project of national chauvinism. Hindu Rashtra ideology has traditionally seen China, along with Pakistan, in hostile and fanciful terms. The longstanding RSS project of giving an expansionist Hindu Rashtra 'nuclear teeth' is, inter alia, related to such 'threat' perceptions.

A striking image of 'Hindi-Chini bhai bhai' in June 1954; Premier Zhou Enlai in New Delhi with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, President Rajendra Prasad and Vice-President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.-THE HINDU PHOTO LIBRARY

bhai bhai

In 1965, writing in the heat of India's war with Pakistan, RSS supremo 'Guru' M.S. Golwalkar characterised socialist China as "the one common menace to entire humanity" and looked forward to a superpower and global alliance to destroy it ('Welcome Bigger War', chapter 25, part 1 in Bunch of Thoughts, revised and enlarged edition, Sahitya Sindhu Prakashana, Bangalore, 1996, p. 326). "The possession of (the) atom bomb by Communist China," he advocated, "has made it imperative for us to manufacture the same. That alone will ensure confidence in the minds of the people and the armed forces about our ability to achieve ultimate victory. No doctrinaire or academic inhibitions should be allowed to come in the way" ("Nation at War", chapter 25, part 2, Ibid.).

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao.-N.RAM

The Vajpayee Government's targeting of China contrasts strikingly with the soft and highly compromising policy attitude towards the United States. The latter has nuclear weapons in Diego Garcia and India's neighbourhood, has over many years provided strategic military assistance to Pakistan (and earlier to Muslim fundamentalist elements in Afghanistan), is right now leading a tough international campaign to take both economic and political measures against India in the wake of the Pokhran explosions, and is twisting the Government's arm in order to bring it into the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty (FMCT) to come.

The provenance of the George Fernandes type of ideological hostility towards China must be looked for elsewhere. The unscientific and outdated view that China is in 'occupation' of vast 'Indian territory' gained through 'aggression' combines in this case with a meddlesome attitude to the Tibet issue and overt solidarity with the reactionary Tibetan 'nationalist' cause symbolised by the Dalai Lama. In early May, Defence Minister Fernandes, responding to a leading question by a private television channel interviewer, characterised China as "potential threat No. 1". Just before this, he had falsely accused China of being the "mother" of Ghauri, Pakistan's Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM), and of intruding into Indian territory to build a helipad in Arunachal Pradesh. Fernandes' unfriendly Pokhran-eve remarks directed at China were only half-heartedly disowned and disapproved by the Prime Minister; they set the stage for the undermining of Sino-Indian relations in the second week of May 1998.

External Affairs Minister Vajpayee being received at the Beijing airport by Chinese Foreign Minister Huang Hua, February 12, 1979.-THE HINDU PHOTO LIBRARY

This amounted to setting the clock back in a reckless way, to reversing the significant progress won in India-China relations in recent times (see separate story), especially after Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's breakthrough visit to China, and summit meeting with Deng Xiaoping, of December 1988. But in a curious sense, the Vajpayee Government's akratic undermining of relations with China seemed to go against the grain of what External Affairs Minister Vajpayee attempted to achieve, through his visit to China in February 1979, as a member of the Janata Party Government headed by Morarji Desai.

Prime Minister and moderniser Zhu Rongji-NATALIE BEHRING/REUTERS

Incredibly, the Prime Minister and his advisers appear to have assumed that the provocative letter to Clinton would remain confidential. They must have been shocked when The New York Times put out the text on May 12 (it is not difficult to guess who leaked it and why).

Is it possible that we are making too much of the May 11, 1998 letter?

Imagine a scenario in which Defence Minister Fernandes did not make his anti-China remarks and Prime Minister Vajpayee did not target China in his letter to President Clinton by way of rationalising the Pokhran nuclear explosions. Would China have reacted differently and would Sino-Indian relations have been in better shape?

Former Prime Minister and Chairman of the National People's Congress Li Peng.-V. SUDERSHAN

The answer to both questions is definitely yes. The problematical implications of the nuclear explosions for Sino- Indian relations and the effect of the political follow-up, the akratic targeting of China in order to find a rationalisation for the misadventure, are related, but two independent issues.

An eleven-day visit to China in August 1998 presented me an opportunity to explore, in some depth, the current state and future of Sino-Indian relations with Zhu Bangzao, official spokesman of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and several scholars specialising in the study of India, Sino-Indian relations, and South Asian affairs.

Among the scholars I met were the Beijing-based veterans, Professors Ma Jiali of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), Ye Zhengjia of the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS), Sun Peijun, general secretary of the Chinese Association of South Asian Studies, Zhang Yunling, Director of the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS); and Professor Wang Dehua, director of the Centre for South Asia Studies of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences (SASS). All these academics have visited, or been based in, India and contributed to scholarly journals on the subject. Some of them work in research institutions connected with the Foreign Ministry or the State Council and are believed to make inputs into the fine-tuning of China's international policy. What struck me was the coherence behind the informed Chinese view of how Sino-Indian relations have fared over the past 30 years, the factors behind the breakthrough and upturn in relations over the past decade, the reasons for the recent serious setback, and what needs to be done to bring the bilateral relationship back on track. While Zhu Bangzao set out the official Chinese Government assessment over a working dinner he hosted for me, the academics fleshed out some of the themes, offering interesting background and insights, and at times giving me their nuanced personal views. Every one of them regretted the recent downturn in bilateral relation and looked forward to a brighter future.

Zhu Bangzao is a suave, friendly and confident Foreign Ministry spokesman and Director-General of the Ministry's Information Department. His twice-a-week press briefings, and accessibility and forthcomingness, are indispensable to Beijing's large foreign media corps. His detailed exposition of the official view at our working dinner ran as follows:

Vice-President Hu Jintao.-

"India has opted for nuclear tests in an attempt to seek great power status, and this is wrong. The Indian Government targeted China to seek an excuse for the tests, which is also wrong. Facts have shown that India's nuclear explosions have undermined its status in the region and in the world as a whole.

"Regarding the first point, some people in India have this doubt: China conducted its nuclear tests earlier. Why can't India conduct tests now? My answer to that question is: The circumstances in which China conducted the tests (in October 1964) were totally different from the circumstances today. The trend of today's world is also different.

"China conducted its nuclear tests during the Cold War. At that time, Russia, the former Soviet Union, the United States and the United Kingdom were in a position to have a nuclear monopoly and nuclear deterrent. China was forced to break this kind of nuclear monopoly and nuclear deterrence.

"That was during the Cold War. Our nuclear tests did play a role in breaking the nuclear monopoly and nuclear deterrent. Now the trend of the world is towards peace and development. The option for any country should be towards peace and development -- as first priorities.

"So state policy should be cooperation rather than confrontation. In a word, the importance of nuclear weapons has rapidly declined. So the trend of the world is towards a complete ban on nuclear weapons and opposition to the proliferation of nuclear arms. It is well known that there are more than 40 countries with potential nuclear (weapon) capability. Should all of them conduct nuclear tests, there won't be peace in the world.

"In the Cold War, some countries were forced to spend a lot on arms. In today's world, countries should spend more on development and improving the living standards of their peoples. India is a developing country. Why should it spend so much money on development of nuclear arms instead of development of its people?

"India may seek great power status through its nuclear tests, or permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council. But facts have shown that in the present day it is not feasible for a country to do this. Such actions can only undermine one's status. That is my view.

"In sum, I believe it is a wrong option for India to go nuclear since the trend of the world is (a) for peace and development and (b) for the abolition of nuclear weapons and a comprehensive test ban on nuclear weapons.

"Now, the second point. It is a greater mistake for India to accuse China and to use it as a pretext to conduct nuclear tests. In fact, on May 11, when India conducted its first tests, China exercised restraint in exercising its position. At quite a late point of time, we expressed our regret. I believe it was against the world trend, so we had to express our position.

"On May 13, after India conducted its second round of nuclear tests and the Prime Minister had sent a letter to President Clinton alleging that China posed a threat, China issued a statement of its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which we hadn't done for many years. I read it out.

" It was a strongly worded statement. Why? We didn't understand why India blamed China.

" Historically, there have been great exchanges and contacts between our two countries. It's true there have been problems and conflicts from time to time, relating to border issues. The responsibility for this does not lie with our side. In the past several years, we have made great efforts to resolve the border issue.

"So in this regard, there are two points relating to how China does not pose any threat. The first: from the very first day, it has undertaken that it will not be the first to use nuclear weapons. The second: it will not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states, or in nuclear weapon-free zones. China is the only nuclear weapon power which has made that kind of declaration.

" If India were not a nuclear (weapon) power, China would not have posed any nuclear threat to India. In terms of conventional weapons (presumably conventional weapons deployed along the Sino-Indian border), it is well known that India is more advanced than China.

"China has reduced its military forces twice: the first time by one million, the second time by half a million more. Our military defence policy is aimed at self-defence. It will not pose a threat to anyone. I would like to draw the attention of the general public and the media in India to this fact.

"When the Defence Minister accused China on several occasions, the Prime Minister of India criticised him for expressing those views. He said that what the Defence Minister said was not the Government's view. However, after the (Pokhran) nuclear tests, the Prime Minister himself accused China of being that kind of threat. This we can't understand.

"Another point. China has made tremendous efforts to improve relations with India. Starting with 1988, when Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi visited China (you were part of the media group during that visit). Since then, there have been many high-level exchanges between our two countries in various fields.

"Our President and Premier both visited India. During our President's visit in 1996, both countries decided to establish a constructive, cooperative partnership oriented to the twenty-first century, which is very vital. This decision was made by the highest leaders of our two countries -- a cooperative partnership instead of a relationship of confrontation.

"The border issues are in the process of being resolved. We have concluded two agreements, one in 1993, the other in 1996. The first was on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The second was on Confidence Building Measures (in the military field) along the LAC.

"Under these circumstances, it is very difficult for us to understand how we pose a threat to India. When we are making tremendous efforts to develop relations.

"What some Indian leaders have said is difficult to comprehend -- and difficult to accept -- for the Chinese people. It is because of these two aspects: making us an excuse for India's nuclear tests, and blaming us for that option, which has severely undermined bilateral relations.

"What should we do to improve bilateral relations under these circumstances? In this regard China's position is clear . This has been set out in the statement by the Foreign Ministry and in speeches by Chinese leaders: 1. India and Pakistan should first renounce their nuclear weapons policies; 2. They should unconditionally accede to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

"In so doing, the two countries will not undermine or damage their international status. In so doing, their status will be enhanced.

"With regard to the improvement of bilateral relations, China has all along attached great importance to improving relations with India. The present status of bilateral relations is something that China is not happy with.

"There is an old saying in China, 'It takes the one who ties the knot to untie it.' So, first, as pointed out by our Ambassador to India, India must offer an explanation of what it has done. Secondly, Indian leaders should stop their accusations against China. Thirdly, the Indian Government should show its sincerity through deeds.

"I believe we have sincerity on our Chinese side. We want to see what stand the Indian Government will take. I hope the Indian public will know China's position (through this).

"This is a fact: immediately following the tests, the Indian public was excited; gradually, this excitement faded. This proves my point that the circumstances are different. When China conducted its tests (in 1964), the Third World countries highly appreciated them. These (1998) tests have drawn more criticism than appreciation. The present (Indian) Government is facing pressure from both domestic and international quarters. It should consider what should be done next.

"We hope the Indian Government will make the right choice.

"I believe it is a wrong option for India to go nuclear. The per capita GDP of India is lower than that of China, is it not? India should do more in this regard.

"China and India are among the largest developing countries and, in terms of population, the two largest countries. If the two can work together, it will be central to the development of the region and the world as a whole. We have much in common in this regard.

"There is a strong base for the friendship between our two countries. Historically, there have been tremendous exchanges and contacts. And in the past, we supported each other in our cause of Independence and Liberation. This is a very strong basis for the development of our bilateral relationship. We were the two countries which first advocated the five principles of peaceful co-existence. So there is every reason for our two countries to develop our bilateral ties.

"It is a great pity that when our relations were on a new track, they suffered setbacks. It is something we regret to see.

"There are a few areas where we need more understanding, for example the boundary issues. We have common borders with Russia, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Burma, Laos...and have resolved border issues with most of our neighbours. Some issues are inherited from history and we can resolve this kind of issue through consultations and negotiations.

"Consultations and negotiations on an equal footing, with respect for each other, will succeed. All kind of issues can be resolved in this way. China has had an issue involving some 1.5 million sq km with Russia, which has basically been resolved.

"We have resolved the dispute with Great Britain on the reversion of the sovereignty of Hong Kong, an outstanding issue for about 150 years. Britain fought a war with Argentina on the Falklands; and the Falklands were much less important than Hong Kong.

"My opinion is that we can resolve the (Sino-Indian) border issue on an equal footing, with mutual respect, and with sincerity.

"I know that in India there has been some speculation about our relations with Pakistan. We have been accused of helping Pakistan develop nuclear weapons and also of exporting missile parts. All these (accusations) are baseless.

"Just before the first (Pokhran) explosion, I received a media delegation from India. I made it very clear: China is against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Our cooperation with Pakistan (in the nuclear energy field) is entirely for peaceful purposes; it is all under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) supervision.

"The nuclear weapons possessed by China are completely for self-defence purposes. Why should China provide (nuclear) weapons to other countries? Our cooperation with other countries is entirely for peaceful purposes. For example, China provided heavy water to India once.

"With regard to missiles also, China has adopted a prudent and responsible attitude. Although it is not a party to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), China has voluntarily observed its main guidelines and parameters. We have undertaken the obligation of not exporting any missiles capable of reaching a range of over 300 kilometres, with a payload of over 500 kilograms. The small number of missiles we have exported are perfectly legal. All such transactions are registered with the relevant agencies of the United Nations.

"Considering that some rumours have been about, I hope the Indian public will know that China's attitude in this regard is both prudent and responsible. We hope the Indian subcontinent will enjoy peace and tranquillity, peace and development. We will not export material or missiles to break balances in the region, to undermine peace and tranquillity in the region.

"Our economic relations and bilateral trade are another issue. Some people in India are not satisfied with the present state of bilateral economic and trade relations. Ours are developing countries with huge populations, with great potential for development.

"With the development of bilateral relations, economic and trade relations will develop. In absolute volume, our bilateral trade is not ideal. Last year, total two-way trade amounted to (merely) $1.8 billion. However, the 30 per cent annual growth rate was something satisfactory to both sides.

"So there is great potential and bright prospects for the development of bilateral relations. We should guard against setbacks such as the recent one.

"China, on its part, is very frank on further developing bilateral relations. It takes the one who ties the knot to untie it. The ball is in the Indian court. We want to see concrete actions from the Indian side for improvement (of Sino-Indian relations). We hope bilateral relations can be returned to the normal track so that the high-level exchange of visits can be resumed.

"May I convey our thanks for your Prime Minister's message sent to China regarding the floods.

"Our common goal is the restoration, improvement and further development of our bilateral relations."

There are about 400 scholars in China specialising in the study of South Asia. This is the estimate of 72-year-old Professor Sun Peijun, the moving spirit behind the Chinese Association of South Asian Studies, and his somewhat younger colleague, Professor Wang Dehua of SASS in Shanghai. Nearly 200 of them attended the last annual meeting of the Association, which was held in Beijing in 1996.

A sizeable component of the 400 is engaged in Buddhist studies, which integrally involve India and South Asia, or in the study of Sanskrit, Pali, Hindi, Tamil, Bengali and other Indian languages. In fact, the President of the Association is 85-year-old Professor Ji Xianlin, China's outstanding Sanskritist and a versatile linguist, who has long been associated with Beijing University. The other South Asianists work on the history, politics, economy, culture, literature and other aspects of the various South Asian countries, chiefly India.

Beijing University, the specialised research institutes and centres in the national capital and in Shanghai, and the Institute of South Asia Studies of Szechuan University at Chengdu, which has the largest contingent of South Asia scholars and where Professor Wang Dehua was based for 17 years, are the major bases in this regard. Some of the India and South Asia scholars work in research institutes supported by, or autonomously associated with, the Chinese Foreign Ministry or the State Council. The international liaison wing of the Communist Party of China also has its South Asian specialists.

Certain broad and recurring themes, some subtly differing perceptions and emphases, and well-nuanced judgments emerged from the detailed discussion of Sino-Indian relations (see separate reports of the conversations) I was able to have with the veteran and younger South Asianists, a few of whom I have known for several years.

One major theme was the sea-change that has taken place in bilateral relations over the past decade, specifically since Rajiv Gandhi's path-breaking visit to China in December 1988. Satisfaction over this was invariably accompanied by dismay and some puzzlement over the serious setback dealt to the relationship by the BJP-led Government's unfriendly targeting of China in the wake of the Pokhran explosions.

A second theme was a clear differentiation between the Government of India's act of conducting the nuclear explosions and the targeting of China as a 'threat' to rationalise the nuclear tests and moves towards weaponisation. The first was firmly regretted and judged to be against India's interests, regional stability and non-proliferation goals. The second was condemned, with varying nuances, as a major blow to bilateral relations and as completely unacceptable. What was clear was that Vajpayee's letter to Clinton, by making the link between the explosions and the anti-China posture, brought nuclear weaponisation and what needed to be done about this by the Indian Government on to the bilateral political agenda.

A third scholarly theme was that, contrary to the BJP-led Government's expectation, India had become weaker and more vulnerable after the Pokhran nuclear tests and the moves towards nuclear weaponisation. There was no way for it to gain recognition as a nuclear weapon state, and, although Pakistan might pay a higher price, India too was paying a stiff political and economic price for its Government's misadventure. The present course was not, in a word, sustainable.

A related theme was that India needed to accede to the CTBT quickly, and give up its nuclear weaponisation programme, if it was to get out of its isolation and its international difficulties. Joining the CTBT was also seen as the quickest route to undoing the damage inflicted on Sino-Indian relations.

A fifth theme was the need for India to clarify, for the longer term, its policy attitude towards China: did it regard it as, and would it like it to be, a friend or foe? Much depended on the answer to this question, and it was made clear, with the aid of old Chinese sayings, that action would matter more than words. In discussing the problematical issues involved in Sino-Indian relations, some of the South Asianists came up with fairly tough but not harsh criticisms of the Government of India's handling of talks on the boundary question and also its attitude towards Tibet. Some specific insights were offered into what these scholars wanted India to do on the two sensitive issues. One veteran, Professor Ye Zhengjia, drew on his long experience and knowledge of bilateral relations to reiterate his personal, dissenting assessment that "clarifying the facts" about the 1962 conflict was a precondition for getting the Sino-Indian relationship right.

A sixth theme was the commonality of prioritising economic development, and raising the living standards of the people. China had, indisputably, made economic development and reform its strategic focus, but what about India? The positive signs of 1996 and early 1997 had disappeared, its economy was clearly in difficulties, and the economic environment had visibly deteriorated. Was the Indian Government going to enter into an arms race and increase the military budget, compelling others, including perhaps China, to respond in kind. In security and political terms, China was not overly worried by such a prospect. But was this what the masses of the Indian people would want and deserve?

On Sino-Indian trade and economic relations, which have been progressing steadily from a very modest level, the scholarly consensus was quite upbeat. There was no suggestion, at least at this juncture, of linking the issue of trade and economic relations with any other issue such as accession to the CTBT (or even providing an 'explanation' for the targeting of China). This stood in contrast to the U.S. insistence on such overbearing linkage.

Finally, not one of the scholars considered the situation to be irremediable or irretrievable. China's response, in their implied assessment, was inevitable and proportionate. It was to regret and disapprove of the nuclear explosions and to consider the act of targeting China (in order to provide a 'rationale' or 'pretext' for the nuclear explosions) shocking, unfriendly and gratuitous. But China would not overreact -- since, from the standpoint of its own long-term interests and in a considered way, it sincerely wanted friendship and a cooperative partnership with India. Moreover, it was quite aware of the growing opposition in India to the BJP-led Government's nuclear as well as foreign policies.

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