India on Sunday said China was a “major concern” than Pakistan given the power it has to impact the country in various spheres.
Noting that China was necessarily more important in terms of India’s global vision and the ties between the two countries can impact the region, Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said as far as Pakistan was concerned, the impact was “more pacific”.
He was replying to queries on which was a bigger challenge for India – territorial dispute with China or trust deficit with Pakistan.
“China is necessarily more important in terms of our global vision. In terms of economics. In terms of stability and impact of stability that our friendship and understanding can have on Asia and South Asia. As far as Pakistan is concerned, it is more pacific.”
“China is part of a larger picture and Pakistan being part of that picture… significant part of the picture and can ruin that picture if Pakistan does not have right colour.
“But it is much larger canvas and picture we are dealing with as far as China is concerned. China we engage multilaterally everywhere. China can be a very very important partner in both in Asia and Africa and elsewhere. China will play a significant role in what we want to do in the UN,” said the minister, who was on way back from Myanmar after a three-day visit.
He further said, “China is also a constant reminder to us that we got to put our economy at the right track. We can pretend that China is not there. But China is there and unless we put our economy on the right track it is going to overwhelm us completely.
“So China is a major concern and Pakistan, in a significant way (is a concern) but not a major concern.
“Because Pakistan has the ability to ruin the game for us therefore we have to keep Pakistan also in focus…..,” the minister said.
“There are linkages also between China and Pakistan and that is important. But the linkages again is less important dimension,” Khurshid said.
Asked about the ‘pinpricks’ China keeps giving to India on territory issue, he said, “I really wish they do not happen but they do happen.”
“We have learnt to live with them. We have learnt to manage them. We have learnt to control them. But today these are not restricted to what was our real problem i.e issue of the border. Today they are coming elsewhere in multilateral situation. We don’t want to be drawn into any dispute vis-a-vis China because we want to look at the positive as far as possible,” the minister said.
He said India should engage with China, grow with China as was decided in 1988 during late Rajiv Gandhi’s visit to Beijing and added that India was getting signals from China that emerging young leadership also wanted to go on the same path.