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  4. 'Mind games will be played': Jaishankar on India-China relations at Raisina Dialogue

'Mind games will be played': Jaishankar on India-China relations at Raisina Dialogue

Jaishankar highlighted that the immediate issue between India and China is Beijing's departure from border agreements in the 1980s which later triggered the border dispute in Ladakh. He also said there will come a period when the Chinese economy will flatten and India will be growing.

Aveek Banerjee Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee New Delhi Published on: February 23, 2024 17:42 IST
Jaishankar, Raisina Dialogue, India china ties
Image Source : S JAISHANKAR (X) External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar at the Raisina Dialogue 2024.

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday warned against Beijing's "mind games" to restrict India-China relations and said New Delhi should harness "other factors" to get better terms on an equilibrium and leverage the international system to get the "best possible outcome". He made his remarks during the second day of the Raisina Dialogue 2024 in New Delhi.

Jaishankar said one of the biggest challenges India and China will face is to arrive at an equilibrium and maintain it, as he asserted China's decision to depart from border agreements put in place in the late 1980s that triggered the border dispute in eastern Ladakh. He also said there will be a time when the Chinese economy will flatten and India will grow.

"Here is the immediate issue which is: From the late 1980s, we had an understanding on the border precisely because it suited both of us. Now there was a departure after almost 30 years. A departure on their side in terms of how they behaved on the border. And there was a pushback from our side," he said, responding to a question on a settlement between India and China.

"Both of us are rising, obviously at a different pace with different starting points. I think, the Chinese started off earlier and much more intensively than we did. But it's in the nature of things that at some stage everybody flattens out. So, there will be a period where they will be flattening out and we will be growing," he also said during the meeting.

Mind games would be played: Jaishankar

The external affairs minister underscored that arriving at equilibrium and maintaining it will not be easy for the two Asian neighbours, as one or the other would try to change and the other would resist it. He said "mind games" will be played which would be that it is "just between" both sides. "The other 190 odd countries do not exist in our relationship. That will be the mind game that will be played. I do not think we should play it," he said.

Jaishankar said the Chinese started off "earlier and much more intensively and robustly" than India did. "But it's in the nature of things that at some stage everybody flattens out. So, there will be a period where they will be flattening out and we will be growing. I am not in denial of what the numbers today suggest. But if one looks for an example in Goldman Sachs predictions which is that we will both really by around 2075 end up as USD 50 trillion-plus economies and will be the two closest to each other," he added.

He further asserted that India should be confident enough to "leverage" the international system. "Today, when I say think through your own solution, do not give another country, which is clearly a competitive country, a veto over our policy choices. Unfortunately, in the past that has happened from time to time," he said.

'Makes sense to give Russia multiple platforms'

Jaishankar also asserted that it was important for Asian and other countries to engage with Russia, which has faced several sanctions from Western countries. "It makes sense to give Russia multiple options. If we railroad Russia into a single option and say, you know, that's really bad because that's the outcome, then you are making it a kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy," Jaishankar said. 

He also said the growing Russia-China ties are not only in Indian national interest but largely also in global interest. "You know, It's kind of funny. On the one hand, you have people whose set of policies bring the two together and then you say beware of them coming together," he said, adding that Russia is a power with an enormous tradition of statecraft.

The ninth edition of Raisina Dialogue commenced on Wednesday and today will mark the final day of the summit. It is being organised by the Ministry of External Affairs in collaboration with the Observer Research Foundation. The Raisina Dialogue is India's flagship conference on geopolitics and geo-economics and addresses the most challenging issues facing the international community.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is the Chief Guest and keynote speaker of the summit. He, along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, inaugurated the Raisina Dialogue here on Wednesday evening. Representatives from over 100 countries, including ministers, heads of governments and technology leaders are attending the event.

"India is the world's fastest big economy. Greece has over the past years enjoyed some of the fastest growth rates of any European country," said Mitsotakis.

(with inputs from agencies)

ALSO READ | Russia never hurt India's interests, always had stable and friendly ties: Jaishankar

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