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India needs to be concerned about China's inroads: Shyam Saran

The rise of China is going to be a defining challenge for India, he said. Saran said his deep suspicion about the rise of China stems from Beijing's unilateral assertion

Press Trust of India  |  Jaipur 

Shyam Saran
Shyam Saran

should be concerned about the inroads is making in its neighbourhood and must work more closely with countries like the US, and to counter Beijing's rise and unilateral assertion, former has said. The challenge for diplomacy today is how to construct a foreign policy that respects political boundaries but also transcends them, and brings about the commonality which is fundamental to the rational, cohesive security perspective that should have, he said. was speaking at a session on "and the World" at the Literature Festival yesterday. We have to acknowledge the fact that has emerged as a great power, whether it is in terms of its economic or military capabilities and even scientific and technological capabilities," he said. The rise of China, he added, is going to be a defining challenge for "We need to be concerned about the inroads that is making in our neighbourhood. There are roads coming up from in Nepal, linking up the when the roads which link with are not in good repair," he said. The 71-year-old former diplomat, considered an expert on China, said bilateral ties will get further strengthened with a new government in might get a new consulate in Pokhara, he said. It might get a couple of banks in Tarari next to our border. It is also building a huge project in Lumbini, the pilgrimage tourist spot, pointed out. "So you will see a larger presence of in and it is beginning to influence the domestic politics there, just as in with respect to the It is going to be the reality for several years whether we like it not, said. said his deep suspicion about the rise of stems from Beijing's unilateral assertion and its disregard for other countries concerns. I am deeply concerned at the implications of the rise of It is not so much about the rise of as it is about the unilateral assertion. The unwillingness to consult, to take into account the concerns of other countries is what is worrying. We need to work with countries like Japan, Australia, the US and to challenge this unilateralism, he said. Noting that frontiers were becoming less and less important, said countries which can handle cosmopolitanism are going to be successful. "I am worried at the resurgence of parochial tendencies in But I have an innate optimism because of the plurality and diversity of No matter who tries to put a monochromatic frame over this country... is not going to succeed. Its the nature of that has evolved over the centuries and is not a recent construct," said. The Constitution of India, he asserted, is very much aligned to that sense of plurality. Making a reference to Chinas growing influence in and Sri Lanka, he said the world has changed and it is no longer possible to say "this is my backyard and only I will rule here". "You must compete with in being the best partner that you can be.

Why can't you increase your influence by offering the best opportunities to your neighbours?" he asked. expressed confidence in India's capabilities and said the country has the wherewithal to overtake the Communist giant. "I believe if there is one country which has the population, the area, the capabilities to not only catch up with but also to overtake China, it is only There is no other country in the world which can do that," he asserted. "If somebody had said 20 years ago that would become the worlds second largest economy in the next two decades, or potentially the number one economy, he would have been dubbed crazy," said. "So I don't agree that the asymmetric condition that what we have today with is permanent. No. It depends on the choices you make. The decisions that you take today," said. Discussing India's relations with Pakistan, rejected the notion that had come close to resolving issues with the neighbouring country. "needs to be treated as a foreign policy issue... I don't believe that we come close to resolving issues with I believe that the essential nature of India's relationship with is an adversarial relationship and is rightly going to remain adversarial for the unforeseeable future. So the challenge for the foreign policy is to remain adversarial," said. "Don't look for that grand reconciliation. Don't look for that grand peace between two lost brothers. Every leader thinks he will deliver peace with It is not possible given the very nature of the relationship," he said.

First Published: Tue, January 30 2018. 01:17 IST