New Delhi: China does not believe in a multi-polar Asia where there is a cluster of major powers and will not accept a hierarchial order in which India is a "parallel power", former foreign secretary Shyam Saran said on Wednesday.
Noting that India-China relationship is in essence "adversarial", he said there is a "strong sense" of competition and rivalry between the two countries.
"If I interpret China's approach, it is very much linked to how China looks upon itself...its history...its civilisation. There is no doubt China believes, and believes quite genuinely, that its natural position is more dominant certainly in Asia if not in the world," Saran said while speaking at a round table on India-China relations organised by the India Foundation.
Underlining that China does not believe in multi-polarity, he said,"...China does not believe that Asia should be the place where there should be a cluster of major powers, which we believe."
So, China believes that the only possible guarantee of peace, order and harmony is in fact the acceptance by all concerned that there should be a hierarchial order, everybody should know his place in that order, Saran said.
"If India believes that China would accept a hierarchial order in which India is kind of a parallel power, no that is not the intention. We should be very clear in our minds what China's approach is," he said.
China believes that it has today acquired economic and security capabilities, and much more importantly technological capabilities translate that particular vision into reality, he said.
Saran further said it is not necessary that China wants to occupy additional territory but the country is "very clear" in its mind that it should be in a position where it has an effective veto over decisions which are taken by other partners in Asia.
"They (other countries) should not be in a position to take decisions, which China sees as inimical to its own interest, that is not only with respect to security interest but also with respect to economic interest," the former foreign secretary said.
China wishes to be in a position where there is no kind of rivalry or competition possible as far as its dominant status is concerned, he added.