New Delhi: India had been complacent while
China took great strides in developing infrastructure along
Sino-India border in last few years and it is time for New
Delhi to address the lacuna and build matching facilities,
former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran said today.
Saran also said India should not leave any space for
China to play in countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka as it would
be detrimental to New Delhi`s long-term strategic interest in
"Over a period of time we allowed certain complacency to
develop with respect to our capability on our side of the
border, especially with respect to border infrastructure," he
said addressing a seminar on "China`s quest for global
dominance: reality or myth"
Saran said China has been trying to influence the
neighbouring countries as it is a "low cost and high gain"
proposition for the country.
"If you are going to create space for China, then it will
occupy that space...What it does with Pakistan or other
neighbouring countries is a low cost high gain strategy. It
has low risk as you are not confronting India directly,"
Saran, who was also Prime Minister`s Special Envoy on Climate
However, he said the Chinese behaviour is "not unusual".
Stressing the need for having proper infrastructure
along the border, he said following an instruction from Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh, he had undertaken a survey of border
A number of important recommendations came out of the
survey, he said hoping that a plan of action would be put into
place to implement the suggestions.
Asked if a conflict takes place between the two emerging
powers, which of the neighbouring countries will take India`s
side, he said instead of looking for external support, New
Delhi should strengthen its own capabilities.
He said economic interdependence should have a
"moderating effect" in brining down tension between the two