On Jaishankar's comments ..Tuan wrote:NRao wrote:
Can you kindly point me to where the FM has made these statements (underlined above)?
FM Jaishankar used this policy rhetoric in many of his interviews. For instance:
DER SPIEGEL: You haven't mentioned Beijing. Chinese companies are planning large infrastructure projects in Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka. What is India doing to counter China's influence in the region?
Jaishankar: Whatever we do, we're not doing to counter China's influence. Take China away for a moment: We would be still be investing in Nepal, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka the way we do today.. [...] The more connected South Asia is, the better it is for us too.
1. "Whatever we do, we're not doing to counter China's influence" Meaning we (India) can't compete with China given the resource gap and internal needs.
2. "The more connected South Asia is, the better it is for us too." Very generic statement that is just common sense i.e. connectivity is good for everyone. That is not an endorsement of BRI.
The above "neutral" stance, taken with India's past unequivocal statements on BRI means that India remains opposed to it "in its current form". India could always revise its position in future IF facts on the ground wrt BRI change. Nothing is set in stone.
India works with China on global & local issues where there is convergence. In fact, it does that with Bakistan too and that should come as no surprise especially if our foreign policy is based on realism rather than idealism.
However, India and China remain local and global competitors for power and influence heading into the Asian century. Therefore, India and China cannot have a "strategic partnership" in any form in near future. They will continue to co-operate on issues of common interest and BRI is obviously not one of them.
Btw, this competition was setup by China and not India, therefore the onus of proving it is not so rest entirely on China.