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T N Ninan: The view, outside in

China's ascendancy has reached a point where India will have to play a delicate game of exercising autonomy in its pursuit of national objectives without provoking conflict

At a Singapore conference focusing on China last year, Lee Kwan Yew was taking questions after his dinner speech. The western head of the Beijing office of a leading consultancy firm stood up to tell Lee that there was not just one country rising in Asia but two, the second being India. He asked Lee for a comment. The former minister mentor paused for a moment and said, “China does, India talks”, or words to that effect. He brought the house down in a roar of laughter. There weren’t many Indians in the cavernous hall, but all of them must have wished the earth would ...