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News18 Rising India Summit | China's Aspirations Built on its Insecurity, Says Former Foreign Secy Nirupama Rao

Former foreign secretary and former ambassador to China, Nirupama Rao, said at News18 Rising India Summit in New Delhi that China was growing a great deal, but most of it was based on its insecurities.

News18.com

Updated:March 18, 2018, 8:29 AM IST
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News18 Rising India Summit | China's Aspirations Built on its Insecurity, Says Former Foreign Secy Nirupama Rao
Former foreign secretary and former ambassador to China Nirupama Rao speaking at News18 Rising India Summit in New Delhi on Saturday, March 17, 2018. (Photo: News 18)

New Delhi: Amidst an emerging change in world order, former Indian diplomats and foreign policy experts weighed in on China's rising power and its struggle with its insecurities.

Former foreign secretary and former ambassador to China, Nirupama Rao, said that China was growing a great deal, but most of it was based on its insecurities.

"China is an aspiring superpower but those aspirations are built on an insecurity," she said, adding that the Asian giant's growth reminded her of what Deng Xiaoping said-one should bide your time and lay low.

This is not the first time that a former Indian diplomat has raised questions on China's growth model. Late last year, former National Security Advisor and an old China hand Shiv Shankar Menon called China a revisionist power and said that its demographic and geographical positioning was the biggest stumbling block in its metamorphosis into a real global power.

Rao also said that with India's size in the region, it was impossible it would be boxed but on the same hand it was imperative to catch up to China's stupendous growth.

"Geostrategy has to be built on the basis of demography, political strength and economic heft. We have to obviously cover some distance (we as in India). China has grown a great deal and we have a great deal of catching up to do to," she said.

She added that China was much more visible in the region and was showing its muscularity, making it all the more imperative for India to step up in its effort.

Shyam Saran, who was foreign secretary and is currently chairman of the National Security Advisory Board, added that India was an emerging power and that both India and China have managed to keep their relationship on an even keel.

Weighing in, India Foundation director Shaurya Doval said that one of the most important aspect of India's rise was its economic rise, which needs to be seen from the China's lens too. He added that the gap between India and China economically was huge and something that needed to be worked upon.

"India has to offer a different kind of economic heft than what China does. What is our alternative economic model? Soft power has to transcend into these regions (smaller nations) economically," he said, further suggesting that India must try and link a country like Sri Lanka into its GST model.

"No money needs to be put in but you're still helping Sri Lanka grow because India is a big market," he added.

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| Edited by: Bijaya Das
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