On 'China threats', Jaishankar's ‘panda huggers’ dig at Rahul Gandhi

Mar 18, 2023 01:16 PM IST

S Jaishankar hit back at Rahul Gandhi days after the Congress leader claimed that he “does not understand" the threat that China poses to India,

Days after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi claimed that external affairs minister S Jaishankar “does not understand" the threat that China poses to India, the latter hit back saying it was troubling as a citizen of India to see “somebody drooling over China”. Speaking at India Today Conclave in New Delhi, Jaishankar also said “when Panda huggers try to be China hawks... it doesn't fly”.

External affairs minister S Jaishankar and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
External affairs minister S Jaishankar and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

Speaking to members of the Indian Journalists' Association in London, Gandhi earlier this month said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement that “nobody has entered Indian territory” is an invitation to China to repeat its aggression on the Line of Actual Control. When asked about how India should deal with military threats, Gandhi said India needed to respond militarily to the nature of the threat. He added that Jaishankar and the government did not understand the actual threat from China, and the prime minister's statement demonstrated his lack of comprehension of the threat.

Replying to Gandhi's comments, Jaishankar said, “I am troubled as a citizen of India when I see somebody drooling over China and being dismissive about India.” He was responding to a question on his thoughts on Gandhi's recent address in the UK.

Further hitting out at the former Congress president, Jaishankar rubbished Gandhi's allegations of India "being scared of China". "Rahul Gandhi talks admiringly of China and describes the country as 'harmony', he says China is the greatest manufacturer and says 'Make In India' won't work'," the EAM said.

“You can have a point of view about a country, but you should not undermine the national morale,” the minister.

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