-Dr. S Jaishankar. External Affairs Minister
These remarks of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar clearly lay out the broad approach of India in bilateral relations with its neighbour China. Commenting on a question regarding Chinese aggression in this region the EAM said, “This is a practical world. I mean if a country is going to get more powerful we’re going to see its influence in areas in geographies we have not seen before. We’re going to see activities and capabilities that we have not seen before. Now, we will see that from China and I dare say in some areas they will see it from us. “
The EAM mentioned that in the last three decades India has made a substantial gain in the economic and strategic scene at the global stage. He said that India while approaching its relationship with Pakistan or China has already factored in their close alliance for decades. “China’s relationship with Pakistan is not something that is new. It goes back actually to the early 60s, you know aspects of it have been of concern to us before, even that is not new and obviously, that is something which we factor in our relationship with countries,” he said.
The EAM while participating in the 3rd USISPF Annual Leadership Summit also highlighted India’s Neighborhood First Policy, “We need to invest in the neighborhood. We need to build more connectivity for projects, and we are already doing that”. India is a supplier of electricity to most of its neighbors, fuel too many of them, and it is connecting its neighbouring countries through railways, ports, and waterways. However, the EAM said that India needs to increase its global footprint. “When I speak of a larger Indian Global footprint, I just don’t mean a diplomatic footprint, we are also looking at an economic footprint, technology footprint in some ways of security footprint,” he remarked.
Talking about the Corona pandemic and its future impacts on the global order the EAM said that pandemic has taught that the world needs a trusted supply chain. Referring to PM Modi’s call for Aatmnirbhar Bharat the minister said that this program is aimed at scaling up national manufacturing capacity. He called upon US business entities to use India in seeking to expand its capacities. “I just want to stress that we are much more interested in global supply chain passing through India,” he said, adding that Indian production capabilities as part of a global supply chain could be seen as trusted and more resilient.
Regarding the US immigration and Visa issue affecting Indian professionals, Jaishankar said “We are talking of the more technology-driven world, which really puts a premium on talent. There’s one thing which India can offer to the world. It is a trusted talent”. He said that a more knowledge-driven global economy will require more trusted talent and Indians working across companies around the world have performed impressively on that account. Underlining the “catalytic contribution of Indian talent in the US” Jaishankar said, “This is an area where the United States should recognize what’s in American interest and that, believe me, happens to be an Indian interest as well.”
Elaborating on the US- India relationship in the context of the ongoing US Presidential election the EAM said, “These are your conversations even if they impact the world, but we Indians should be comforted by the fact that over many administrations of both Democratic and Republican, our relationship has steadily grown.”
He expressed the fact that India will follow all these developments with deep interest and look at the ramifications of US policy in different regions where Indian interests are also entwined. However, “As an Indian foreign minister I am very assured by the fact that my relationship with the United States is in a very strong position,” he remarked.
Report by Abhishek Jha/ @abhishekjha157