New Delhi: It is India’s way is not to be disruptive, it is more of a decider than an abstainer, external affairs minister S Jaishankar said on Wednesday at a gathering of the Raisina Dialogue here. In remarks that come at a time several countries have called for a greater Indian role in the Indo-Pacific, the minister said it was not India’s way to be mercantilist.
The minister also addressed several other issues, namely India pulling out of the RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership), India’s ties with China and commented on the tensions between the United States and Iran.
Referring to US and Iran, he said they were two individualistic countries and what finally happens would depend on the players involved.
Discussing India’s ties with China, he said it is vital for neighbours to reach understanding on crucial issues. “Neither India nor China can get India-China relations wrong," Jaishankar said. “Our relationship is unique. Each country has gone up in the world simultaneously. It is necessary that the two countries find equilibrium.”
India, he said, is a "prisoner of its past image" and must get over it.
During a session titled "The India Way: Preparing for a Century of Growth and Contest,” the external affairs minister said, “It is not the India way to be disruptive. It is not the India way to be mercantilist. It is the India way to be more of a decider and not an abstainer.”
Speaking about climate change, he said, “India owes it to itself and to the world to be a just power.”
On terrorism, he said India is firmly dealing with the problem. “There was a time when we spoke more than what we did. It is changing now,” the minister said.
On India pulling out of RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership), he said the onus was on countries that were a part of the deal. “Where RCEP is concerned, we have to look at cost and benefit,” Jaishankar said. “We will evaluate RCEP on its economic and trade merit. We have not closed our mind to it.”
He also asserted that "we are not under-delivering on India-US relationship". There is no area of activity where India and the US are not working together, he said.
Noting that the world had common challenges, he said, “Terrorism is a common challenge. Separatism is a common challenge. Migration is a common challenge. The world has to ask itself how they handle these challenges. Don’t get fixated on the dots and ignore the lines.”