'I certainly cannot say how he sees China. But the fact is that, while Pakistan is the immediate problem, China is the principal challenge in the long run.'
China sees India as a potential nuisance, let’s not be in a hurry to resolve the border dispute when the distance is as vast as it is now, Arun Shourie tells National Editor (News Operations) Rakesh Sinha in an interview days before Narendra Modi leaves for China.
How do you view the Prime Minister’s forthcoming visit to China?
Arguably the principal achievement of Mr Narendra Modi has thus far been the energy and the clear focus he has brought to foreign policy. A distinguished academic was pointing out the other day that the backdrop of each of the PM’s visits abroad has been China: those to Japan, to Fiji, to Australia, to the two Pacific Powers — US and Canada; the fact that our President was in Vietnam on the eve of President Xi’s visit to India; the Prime Minister’s visits to countries in the Indian Ocean. The GCF — the Greatest Common Factor — in these has been one: China. Hence, a clear focus.
Does this suggest that he sees China as the main problem for India?
I certainly cannot say how he sees China. But the fact is that, while Pakistan is the immediate problem, China is the principal challenge in the long run — and in part Pakistan is a problem because of China. China’s great skill has been the manipulation of power and the symbols of power. It has a definite view of its place in the world: that it must be the dominant power in Asia now, and the principal power in the world tomorrow.