London: Attacking the NDA government at the Centre, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar “does not understand the China threat,” adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that “nobody has entered Indian territory” is an invitation to the Chinese that they can do it again.
In a conversation with members of the Indian Journalists’ Association in London, the Wayanad MP also said that he supports Indian foreign policy and doesn’t have a huge disagreement with it with regard to India’s position on the Russia-Ukraine war.
“As far as Indian foreign policy is concerned, I support the Indian foreign policy and I am okay with it. I don’t have a huge disagreement with it,” he said when asked a hypothetical question that if China or Pakistan invaded India and since India hadn’t taken a position on the Russia-Ukraine war, it could also be ignored by the World if an invasion into India happened.
Gandhi said, “With regards to an invasion, we have already been invaded. We have got 2000 square km of our territory that is in the hands of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the Prime Minister himself has stated that nobody has entered India, not a single inch of land has been taken and this destroyed our negotiation position because our negotiators are being asked what’s the fuss about.”
“Your Prime Minister says that no land has been taken. So that’s one aspect of it. The other aspect which I keep saying is India needs to be very, very careful with what the Chinese are doing at the border. The Chinese are acting in a hostile manner, in an aggressive manner and we need to be very very careful and I have been stating that again and again, I don’t think the penny has dropped in the government. I think there is a risk as you say,” added Gandhi.
Speaking about Congress’s China policy, Rahul Gandhi said that Congress’s policy was that they would not allow anyone to enter Indian territory.
“The Congress party’s policy on China is very clear, we do not accept anybody entering our territory and pushing us around and bullying us. It doesn’t matter who they are, that’s not acceptable to us and what has happened is that the Chinese entered our territory, killed our soldiers and the prime minister has denied it,” he said.
“That’s the problem. The idea, we have a relationship with the United States and we have a partnership with them and we have a shred democratic free idea. I think there is a coercive idea on a planet and there is a democratic idea on a planet and I think a democratic planet needs to be strengthened. But you will not strengthen the democratic idea unless you start to fundamentally think about things like production. The huge amount of inequality that is erupting in the West and India is a threat to the democratic idea. We have to think about that. We have to have a strategy for that and that’s not on the table,” he added.
When asked about how India should deal with military threats, the Congress leader said, “You have to deal with military threats militarily. But you have to understand the nature of the threat and you have to respond to the nature of the threat. I had one conversation with the Foreign Minister in my view he doesn’t understand the threat. The government is not understanding the actual threat from China. The Prime Minister stating that nobody has entered our territory demonstrates that he does not understand the threat because the message to China with that statement is you can do it again,” added Rahul Gandhi in an interaction at the Indian Journalists Association in London.