Focus on building infrastructure along China border: Saran
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Last Updated: Friday, November 12, 2010, 00:47
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 the region.

"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 change, said.

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 infrastructure.

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 countries.


First Published: Friday, November 12, 2010, 00:47

Tag: IndiaChinaBorder
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