Jaishankar cautions against this 'mind game' by China: ‘We should not play it’ | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Jaishankar cautions against this 'mind game' by China: ‘I don't think we should play it’

Feb 23, 2024 12:30 PM IST

External affairs minister S Jaishankar was speaking at the Raisina Dialogue 2024.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar on Friday cautioned against China's 'mind game’ of a narrow focus solely on bilateral dynamics, saying India should not forgo its rights of harnessing “other factors in the world” to “get better terms on an equilibrium.”

External affairs minister S Jaishankar at Raisina Dialogue 2024.
External affairs minister S Jaishankar at Raisina Dialogue 2024.

When asked whether would India and China finally find a balance in their relationship, Jaishankar, participating in the Raisina Dialogue 2024, noted China's earlier and more intensive economic expansion, juxtaposing it against India's more recent and evolving growth story.

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“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 said.

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Jaishankar highlighted the inevitability of both nations converging, citing projections by Goldman Sachs suggesting that by 2075, both countries could boast $50 trillion economies.

“I am not in denial of what numbers today suggest but if one looks at Goldman Sachs predictions, we both will really be, by about 2075 and up, a $50 trillion economy and plus, and will be too close to each other.”

Pointing to the mutual understanding on the border issue established in the late 1980s, the minister noted a departure from this understanding by China in recent years, leading to tensions and subsequent pushback from India.

"There will be occasions where one or the other will do something to press home a particular advantage and the other will resist," Jaishankar remarked. “Here's the immediate issue – from late 80s, we had an understanding on the border, precisely because it suited both of us. There was a departure on their side after 30 years in terms of how they behaved on the border and there was a pushback from our side.”

Addressing the complexities of maintaining equilibrium, Jaishankar stressed the importance of leveraging external factors to achieve favourable terms in the bilateral relationship.

"The mind games which will be played would be ‘It's just between the two of us and other 190 odd countries in the world don't exist in our relationship’. That would be the mind game that would be played," Jaishankar elaborated. “I don't think we should play it. If there are other factors in the world which can be harnessed by me to get better terms on an equilibrium, why should I forgo that right?”

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