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"Amid Border Issue, China Shouldn't Expect…": S Jaishankar

'Amid Border Issue, China Shouldn't Expect...': S Jaishankar

S Jaishankar said many now believe India should be a member of UN Security Council (File)

Nagpur:

Amid a stand-off at the border, China should not expect other relations to move on normally, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said today.

Diplomacy continues and sometimes solutions to difficult situations do not come in haste, he said while speaking on ‘Bharat’s Rise in Geopolitics’ at an event in Nagpur.

The borders between India and China are not mutually agreed and it was decided that both sides would not amass troops and would keep the other informed about their movements, he said. But the neighbouring nation violated this agreement in 2020, he added.

It brought its troops in large numbers to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and the Galwan incident happened, S Jaishankar said.

The Minister said he explained to his Chinese counterpart that “unless a solution is found at the border, they should not expect other relations to move on normally”.

“That is impossible. You don’t want to fight and do trade at the same time. Meanwhile, diplomacy is going on and sometimes solutions to difficult situations do not come in haste,” he asserted.

Asked about the recent rift with the Maldives, S Jaishankar said, “What we are trying to do, and with a lot of success in the last 10 years, is to build a very strong connection.”

“Politics may go up and down but the people of that nation generally have good feelings towards India and understand the importance of having good relations,” he said, adding that India was involved in building roads, power transmission lines, fuel supply, providing trade access, investing and having people spend holidays in other countries.

These are parts of how a relationship is developed, though sometimes things do not go the right way and one has to reason with people to bring it back to where it should be, the Minister pointed out.

Asked about the United Nations not being able to prevent most wars but some of its members have been successful in denying India a permanent seat in the Security Council, S Jaishankar said the UN used to be relevant in the 1950s and 1960s and the five nations in the Security Council used to dominate other countries due to a wide gap between them.

With what has happened in the past 30-40 years, it is no longer the case, S Jaishankar said, adding that the limitations of the UN are now visible and many people believe India, one of the largest economies in the world, must be there (in the Security Council as a permanent member).

He pointed out that no one expected a united outcome after the G20 meetings last year under India’s presidency but “we managed”.

“Every passing year, the world feels India should be there but the world does not give things easily and generously. Kabhi kabhi lena padhta hai (sometimes we need to step forward and take it). We will keep moving on,” he said.

Asked about the large number of Indians surrendering their passports to settle abroad despite India being the fifth largest economy in the world, S Jaishankar said it was a personal choice.

“In a democracy, you have to accept some individual choices because that is the nature of life. But the best answer is how we can provide more and better employment opportunities in India,” he said.

The Minister added that one should not look at people moving abroad in a negative way since it is a matter of pride that in hospitality, aviation, shipping, etc. Indians are willing to take employment to contribute. “Because wherever they work, it is a plus point for us,” he claimed.

Asked about some of the prominent achievements of the country in foreign affairs, he said the relationship with the US was negative or difficult from 1947 for the next 50 years. But that began changing for the better under the prime ministership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. There is a difference in how the US views India today, he said.

“They recognise the importance India holds, especially in technology. The enthusiasm in American businesses for India has changed. They were never very strong earlier. The relationship with Australia has changed significantly,” he said.

The relationship with Gulf nations has also changed if one sees the trade, political, and security confidence, he said.

“Next month we will be seeing the opening of the Swaminarayan Temple in Abu Dhabi (in the UAE). To me there is a profound change in the way that country is looking at us,” he added.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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