Kolkata, Aug 4 (IANS) Former foreign secretary Krishnan Srinivasan on Tuesday said India should be prepared for a “more globally assertive” China.
“The Chinese will have a very strong world vision and that world vision will be backed by a very strong economy and huge investible funds and this is something which will happen sooner or later and I think it will be desirable for India, and for the rest of the world also, to take note of this.
“I think we should be prepared for a much more globally assertive China that we have seen so far,” Srinivasan said at the Observer Research Foundation here during the launch of C. Raja Mohan’s book “Modi’s World: Expanding India’s Sphere of Influence”.
He also voiced concern over the “lack of positive information” on China in India.
The former diplomat said the government needs to educate Indians “rather urgently about the potential of good neighbourliness with our northern neighbour”.
Commenting on excerpts about the escalating South China Sea dispute and how India was closer to the US in this regard from Mohan’s book, Srinivasan said China’s claims deserve a second look.
“As for the South China Sea, we tend to sweep the Chinese claims aside as being invalid. That deserves a very strong second look and it would be good for some authority in New Delhi to examine what these Chinese claims are… they are not the only claimant.. there are five or six other claimants,” he said.
With China rapidly building new artificial islands in the South China Sea to expand its territorial claims there, the US is worried about its increasing assertiveness and is adamantly refusing to recognise those claims.
ASEAN members Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei, as well as Taiwan have various competing claims to the South China Sea over existing territorial rights and mineral rights.
Some of these nations have built a few artificial islands as well.
Ahead of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meet that kicked-off in Malaysia on Tuesday, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said the South China Sea issue should not be raised at the talks.