India should shed its "submissive" and "timid" attitude towards China and show firmness in dealing with it on the boundary dispute by strengthening defence and cementing ties with Russia, Former Foreign Secretary A P Venkateswaran said.
He said China's "aggressive" stance was due to the "extremely submissive" attitude of India in recent years.
Asked if he sees tension rising further between India and China, he said, "Yes, unless we show firmness and begin to take measures to strengthen our defence and also build up our relations, particularly with Russia which is more friendly towards us, in my considered view, than USA ever will be".
"After Indira Gandhi's time, New Delhi has pursued a policy of appeasement, not only towards China but towards all those governments which adopted a superior attitude, whether it was the USA or UK or China," Venkateswaran said.
On what he thought was the solution of the boundary dispute, Venkateswaran said it lies in showing firmness and determination not to keep giving into China's formulations docilely, such as Beijing's expression "Line of Actual Control" which New Delhi has adopted since the 1962 war. "Let us start by claiming our border as we see it", he said.