External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has clearly rejected the European construct that New Delhi’s position on Ukraine could impact global support to it if its problems with Beijing increases.
As per PTI report, Jaishankar asserted that there was no correlation between India’s position on Ukraine and its issues with China, adding the ‘Chinese don’t need a precedent somewhere else in the world on how to engage us, or not engage us or be difficult with us, or not be difficult with us’.
In an interactive session at a conference in the Slovakian capital Bratislava, Jaishankar said Europe has to grow out of the mindset that its problems are the world’s problems but the world’s problems are not Europe’s problems.
The strong comments by Jaishankar came amid persistent efforts by the European countries to convince India to take a tougher position on the Russian invasion of Ukraine with the argument that New Delhi could face increasing challenges from China in the future.
“In terms of the connection you are making, we have a difficult relationship with China and we are perfectly capable of managing it. If I get global understanding and support, obviously it is of help to me,” Jaishankar said.
“But this idea that I do a transaction — I come in one conflict because it will help me in conflict two — that’s not how the world works. A lot of our problems in China have nothing to do with Ukraine and have nothing to do with Russia. They pre-date it,” he said.
Jaishankar was asked why he thinks anyone will help New Delhi in case of a problem with China after it did not help others on Ukraine.
“Somewhere Europe has to grow out of the mindset that Europe’s problems are the world’s problems but the world’s problems are not Europe’s problems. That if it is you, it’s yours, if it is me it is ours. I see reflections of that,” he said.
Asked about the US and China axes and which one India will prefer, the external affairs ministers said it was not necessary for India to join any axis.
“I don’t think it’s necessary for me to join this axis or not, and if I am not joining this, I must be with the other one. I don’t accept that,” he said.
He said is India has one-fifth of the world population, it is the fifth or sixth-largest economy, and it is entitled to have its own side, weigh its own interests and take positions based on its interests.