‘India Must Revisit China Policy; US or Russia Won’t Help Us Much’

Former diplomat Meera Shankar, India’s ambassador to US right after 26/11 attack, suggests ways to counter China 

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Opinion
2 min read

After the Lt Gen level talks in Moldo, both India and China have agreed to deescalate matter along the LAC. However, the fine print of promised disengagement is yet to be seen. The talks followed the worst clashes between the Indian and the Chinese troop along the Line of Actual Control since 1962. On 15 June, 20 Indian soldiers, including a colonel, were killed in these clashes. China has not confirmed any fatal casualties on their side as yet.

The Quint spoke to former diplomat Meera Shankar, India’s ambassador to the US (2009-2011), about the ongoing India-China tensions.

Former Indian ambassador to the US as well as Germany, Shankar insists that India needs to revisit its China policy as there has been ‘deception’ on China’s part in the present scenario.

Shankar suggests that India should aim to have a secure economic and security environment without dependence on allies and partners. It is to be noted that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is in Moscow today for a trilateral meet of the Russia India China grouping. Shankar says that neither the US nor Russia can unequivocally support India against China in a bilateral conflict because of their economic enmeshment. She also argues for India’s need to achieving parity with China in trade terms.

Shankar says that China’s economic interest in Indian markets has been detrimental for several sectors, particularly the MSME. She also suggests that boycotting China is not the answer but Chinese trade proposals need to be scrutinised from a national security perspective as well as our economic goals. Shankar insists that India must actively look towards other countries to partner with when it comes to certain sensitive sectors and keep Chinese investments out.

Shankar also expresses her doubt regarding the efficacy of any highest-level dialogue between PM Modi and China’s Xi Jinping at the moment. She, however, adds that such issues are tackled behind closed doors, as happened in the case of Doklam standoff in 2017. “I’m sure that our embassy in Beijing is handling the situation in an efficient manner.”

Watch the full conversation on way forward in India-China relationship here.

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