My Father Would’ve Said Beware of China & Xi Jinping: Vikram Mehta

Vikram Mehta shares his father Jagat Singh Mehta’s experiences in China in light of the India-China face-off.

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Video Editor: Deepthi Ramdas & Puneet Bhatia

Vikram Mehta, the chairman of Brookings India and the son of Jagat Singh Mehta, former Indian Foreign Secretory (1976-1979), spoke to The Quint about India’s relationship with China.

In light of the India-China face off in the Galwan Valley, Mehta also shared the experiences and views of his father, who was an expert in matters about China through the 1950s and 60s.
“He (Jagat Singh Mehta) would have warned us to not look at China through a liberal democratic lens. He would have warned all of us not to presume that China interprets India’s language in a way India expects them to.”
Vikram Mehta, Chairman of Brookings India

Mehta shared how his father, during his posting in China, would walk out of banquets in silent protest of the Chinese’s criticism of India after the war of 1962. He remembered how Jagat Mehta was given an ultimatum by China to withdraw India’s forces during the Indo-Pak war in 1965, and how he rightly judged it to be more of diplomatic support to Pakistan and a mere bluff, and hence advised the Indian government to not take it seriously.

“President Xi’s approach to international order is equally disruptive to the status quo as was Mao’s, who intended to change the status quo in the 50s and 60s.”
Vikram Mehta, Chairman of Brookings India

‘China’s Expansionary Policy Has Changed Status Quo ’

According to Vikram Mehta, China’s expansionary policy has led to an alteration of status quo on India’s border, and the neighbouring country cannot be trusted anymore.

He said the Indian government’s response to China is clear. India wants to restore the status quo at the border and re-evaluate its economic and strategic relationship with China. And in the process India might witness development and redefinition of its relationship with the United States, Japan, Korea, Australia, and the Middle East.

Watch the video above for the full discussion.

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