Sep 27, 2006 at 08:34am IST

Left plays Chinese checker on UPA

New Delhi: The Centre took a step forward when it agreed to the opening of Nathu La pass for bolstering Sino-Indian trade.

However, with many of the China's trading licence applications being turned down for security reasons, roadblocks are beginning to emerge.

Interestingly, the CPM has come to China's rescue. The party is asking the Centre why Chinese investment is being discriminated against.

This in reference to the Vizhinjam port project in Kerala that remains a pipe dream with the Centre refusing to give security clearance. A Chinese consortium had won the bid to develop the port.

After a lull for nearly two months, the Left is back at playing the Opposition. The LDF has been suggesting that a Chinese-led consortium be allowed to build a port terminal at Vizhinjam.

For the CPM, foreign policy is about inching closer to China. Obviously, the party's leadership is very upset.

This is clearly moving away from the party's earlier stand that smaller airports could be privatised. The Left was not able to prevent the entry of private players in Delhi and Mumbai airport.

Of course, not that the Left itself is united in its policy formulation. Apparently, West Bengal chief minister, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya is against the dumping of Chinese goods in West Bengal markets as well. So what's good for one Left state need not be good for another.