‘History’s greatest arms race in Asia’

Shiv Shankar Menon

Shiv Shankar Menon  

Ex-NSA blames U.S.-China tensions

Asia is witnessing “history’s greatest arms race” as a result of a sense of insecurity stemming from tensions between the United States and China, and an “ill-defined Indo-Pacific concept”, said former National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon here on Sunday.

“U.S. and Japan seek partners for what they call the free and open Indo-Pacific, which to my mind is an ill-defined concept because it cedes the continental order to China and leaves only the maritime order to the rest of us, which doesn’t serve India’s purpose because India is both a continental and maritime power,” Mr. Menon said.

He was delivering the valedictory lecture at the Indian Forum on China conference organised by the Institute of Chinese Studies (ICS), the German think-tank Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and also the Goa University.

“The other countries in the region are reacting to this by strengthening their own militaries and hedging against China. So what we are seeing is history’s greatest arms race in Asia,” Mr. Menon, who served as India’s Ambassador to China, Foreign Secretary and NSA, said.

The conference saw presentations by many senior policymakers.

Striking a cautionary note, former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said it would take India much longer to emulate China’s economic success than presently estimated.

( The reporter attended the conference at the

invitation of the Institute

of Chinese Studies)

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