New Delhi, Jan 15, 2020: India and China don’t have a choice but to get along with each other, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Wednesday at the Raisina Dialogue, India’s flagship global conference on geopolitics being attended by seven former heads of state and government.
“Economically, we are No.2 and No.3, so it is imperative to have an understanding,” Jaishankar said at the event, adding that the relationship is a work in progress, News18 reported.
Elaborating on India’s role in global diplomacy, the minister said New Delhi should play a “stabilising” role to balance “forces of disruption”. “I think it is not India’s way to be a disruption-ist power internationally, I think we should be a stabilising power. There are already enough forces of disruption in the world. Somebody needs to make up a bit... It is also not the India way to be self-centered, to be mercantilist. Therefore, it’s important to be global, law abiding, consultative,” Jaishankar said.
On the Citizenship Amendment Act, which has garnered immense global attention following vociferous protests against it across India, Jaishankar said, “To the world I say… if you look at this... terrorism and migration are common challenges that are not limited to India. When nations ask us questions, they should ask themselves how they dealt with it. We all saw how US dealt with issues post 9/11. It is important for countries to reflect on measures they took.”
“The bottom line is, are we going to inherit problems and not solve them and leave it for others? Or do we deal with them and solve them? People are entitled to have opinions… The question is, are we going to define ourselves or are we going to let other define us. My position and my government’s position is the first one,” the foreign minister added.
Commenting on the ongoing conflict between Iran and United States, Jaishankar said India shares concerns of other nations at the escalating crisis.
“US and Iran are individual-minded players. They have a history of dealing with each other. Our concerns are mainly about us and these concerns are similar to other nations. The developments in the last few days made it important for other countries to have a conversation about them,” he said,
He also denied that New Delhi is “under delivering” on its ties with Washington. “We have something substantive happening in every sector. The US is looking beyond its traditional alliances and these are all promising opportunities.”
The fifth edition of the prestigious Raisina Dialogue, jointly organised by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation, will bring together 700 international participants from over a 100 countries, in one of the largest gatherings of its kind.
The three-day conference will see participation of 12 foreign ministers, including from Russia, Iran, Australia, Maldives, South Africa, Estonia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Uzbekistan and the EU.
Iran foreign minister Javed Zarif’s participation assumes significance as it comes following the killing of Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani.