China’s rise a big disruption, says Jaishankar

Common concern:Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar speakingat the concluding session of the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi on Thursday.Special Arrangement

Common concern:Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar speakingat the concluding session of the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi on Thursday.Special Arrangement  

The rise of China is a major disruption, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said on Thursday, in comments that mirrored those made by U.S. Pacific Commander (PACOM) Admiral Harry Harris.

“One big disruption is the rise of China, then the posture of the U.S., the challenge of terrorism, and the fourth would be the implications of non-market economics. We are seeing the rise of a very different power, whether the rise is a model for others is certainly a question,” Mr. Jaishankar said. He was speaking at the concluding session of the Raisina Dialogue, organised jointly by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation.

However, he said, disruption was positive in many ways. “China has in a way opened up the international order, which allowed India to make its presence felt,” he said.

Observing that the region west of India was unstable while the region to the east of India was stable and focussed on growth, Mr. Jaishankar said India had “absorbed all the pressures from the West” so that the nations in the east remained stable.

Earlier in the day, the former Afghanistan President, Hamid Karzai, said China was a huge reality in this region and the world. “We know China is a good friend of Pakistan, but so is the U,S. We don’t have a problem being friends... even with Pakistan,” he said.

The Navy chiefs and senior naval officials of the ‘Quad’ countries flagged the increasing Chinese assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific and stressed the importance of multilateral mechanisms to maintain peace in the region. “The reality is China is the disruptive force in the Indo-Pacific region. The trust deficit that exists in the region should be addressed by China,” said Admiral Harry Harris.

Indian Ocean foray

Indian Navy chief Admiral Sunil Lanba said China had been making increasing forays in the Indian Ocean in the name of anti-piracy and the scenario was likely to continue. “On overseas bases, it is an open question, but China has invested money in port facilities. But they are economically unviable,” he said.

Admiral Lanba said the region was facing a deficiency of trust and fear of insecurity and called for trust between countries and transparent inter-operability.

Australian Navy chief Vice-Admiral Tim Barrett said there was more trust between the militaries of the region than there was on political dialogue. “An abundance of these organisations and institutions, poorly managed or not aligned, makes it difficult for us to achieve meaningful outcomes,” he said of the various groupings.

Japan’s Admiral Katsutoshi Kawano said it was difficult to change China’s aggressive policy and if it continued violating international norms, it would be isolated. The One Belt One Road initiative seemed to be an “economic initiative,” but with military aspects.

India, Australia, Japan and the U.S. last year revived the quadrilateral grouping which in the past had drawn a sharp response from China.

Recommended for you