‘We must compete with all, not just China’: S Jaishankar

New Delhi: India does not need to be scared of China and it has the capability and confidence to compete with the country, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said. In an exclusive interview with NDTV, the minister said India is in a very strong position in the neighborhood when it comes to connectivity projects, mobility of people, the social and intellectual spheres, trade, and every other yardstick.

Jaishankar also acknowledged, however, that we are living in a competitive world and India should not assume that China will not try to influence its neighbors. “They had been doing this,” he said. To a question on how he saw the possibility of China’s slowing economy, foreign investors leaving and the country’s other difficulties making India complacent, the minister said in Hindi, “They will also have their ups and downs. But I am looking at this from the angle of diplomatic foreign policy competition. India must learn to compete. We must compete with China, but not only them. There may be some Western nations as well, whose interests and thinking may be different from ours.”

Jaishankar said it is natural for the competition between India and China to be greater because both countries are rising powers. Asked about the concept of ‘China Plus’ and how India is building its economic muscle, the minister said the term seems to imply that the focus is only on getting companies out of the larger neighbor and into the country.



Jaishankar on India-Maldives row

New Delhi: Maldives and India must sit down and work out any concerns each might have, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said as ties with the island nation simmer following three ministers’ critical comments this month about Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“In our neighborhood, there are many countries… there are elections in these countries where different parties take different positions. Now, we are a large neighbor and we become an issue in their elections. I will only say this… it is one thing for anyone to take a position in an election, but, when it comes to public office, your responsibilities change,” he told NDTV.

“You can’t behave in government as you might in an election. We have had some meetings and hope to have some more. Ultimately I would like for all of us to sit down and talk. If they have issues we will listen and try to resolve it, because, ultimately, we are all neighbors.”

Image courtesy of S Jaishankar/Facebook

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