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China threat to rules-based world: Army Chief General MK Pande

Army Chief General Pande says Beijing looking at geo-politics and trade as zero-sum games NEW DELHI:   Chinese belligerence is presenting a threat to the rules-based international order, Army Chief General MK Pande commented on Friday, while mulling over the emerging geo-strategic issues that have relevance from India’s perspective.

Speaking at the annual session of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, General Pande said, “Possession of political, economic, technological and military power has accorded it (China) a new  position in the world order, which it intends to lead. With its economic heft, China has been looking at geo-political and trade engagements as zero-sum games.”

“Concurrently, Chinese belligerence is evident in its continuing propensity to project power outside its region, in turn presenting a threat to rules-based international order,” he said. The Army Chief said the resolute and firm manner with which the country stood up to China during the events of April-May 2020 “has made the world take notice of the political and military resolve of a rising India”.

Many nations today “also appear ready to take the China issue head-on, especially post-pandemic, and as the realisation of its predatory economic pursuits sink in,” Pande said. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army had clashed with the Indian Army soldiers in May 2020 and had moved its troops at multiple points, leading to standoffs in Eastern Ladakh. Indian Army also mobilised more than 60,000 troops with commensurate fire power.  Referring to the internal security situations India is dealing with, the Army chief said it has its unique set of challenges.

“But the most important pointer for us is that our challenges of unsettled borders continue and stand amplified due to collusion between our western and northern adversary. Infirmities in border management can lead to wider conflicts,” Pande maintained. On examples displaying India’s diplomatic ability, General Pande pointed to the nation’s “complex global relationships” involving the interplay of interests, concerns and aspirations.

He also touched upon the Russia-Ukraine conflict and growing strategic relevance of the Indo-Pacific theatre. “Our stance on the Russia-Ukraine conflict is a fine example, where we stood steadfast and clear in the legitimate pursuit of our national interests.” The successful conducting of G20 Summit heralded India’s diplomatic ability to achieve consensus on values-based approach to growth and development for all, Pande said.

India poised to be third largest economy: Shah  Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday asserted that India is well-poised to become the world’s third largest economy by 2027, as developments on all fronts are taking place on a large scale. Investments are pouring in since the industry fraternity has a strong sense of confidence under the Modi government, Shah said, speaking at the 118th annual session of PHDCCI. The success of Chandrayaan-3, Mission Aditya-L1 and G20 Summit has filled the country with a new kind of confidence and energy, he said. (THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)