China’s assertiveness more evident: CDS Gen Chauhan

New Delhi: China’s assertiveness is more evident with its rise and India will have to take this aspect into account in its overall “strategic calculus”, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Anil Chauhan said on Thursday.
Delving into disruptions in global geopolitical order, he also underlined the need for India to continue maintaining “strategic autonomy” in its approach and that the country move forward from its approach of “non-alignment” to an era of being a “Vishwa-mitra” — a friend to the world.
Delivering the fifth Gen KV Krishna Rao memorial lecture, the Chief of Defence Staff also referred to India’s “major dispute” on its northern borders with China and suggested that New Delhi will have to play a strategic autonomy card.
“The strategic autonomy may be relevant to exploit opportunities rather than to take care of your threats. That’s where the future should lie. We should be thinking about opportunities more,” he said.
“This all what I said comes with a little bit of a caveat because of the northern neighbour. In this strategic calculus, India will have to take into account the emergence of China as a major power,” he said.
“China’s assertiveness is more evident with its rise. India has a major dispute on its northern borders with China and will have to play a strategic autonomy card…,” he added.
The Chief of Defence Staff also summarised India’s journey of being non-aligned to that of exercising strategic autonomy.
“If I were to summarize the journey of India from non-alignment to exercising of strategic autonomy, it can be based on what I can say is three S. First is securing India. Next is self-reliance. And lastly, shaping the environment to India’s advantage and benefit,” he said.
Gen Chauhan also elaborated on economic aspects of global geopolitics and that the global balance of power can be shifted by economic alignment and even issues like morality, righteousness and convergence of global interests.
“In India’s famous epic Mahabharata, Lord Krishna shifted the balance of power towards the Pandavas. His military might went to the Kauravas but it was only his righteousness and sage advice which shifted the balance of power,” he said.
“And ultimately the Pandavas emerged victorious in that particular war. We as a nation have utilised the G20 platform to leverage soft power to play a dominating role. So these are also important facts we must keep in mind when we take strategic decisions on how to get aligned in future,” he said. (Agencies)

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