India’s Infrastructure Budget Surge on China Border Post-2014: S Jaishankar

AM Highlights Shift in Border Development Approach and Realistic China Policy

India’s External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar, disclosed on Friday that India’s budget for border infrastructure along the China frontier witnessed a significant surge after Narendra Modi assumed office as Prime Minister. Speaking at an event titled ‘Why Bharat Matters: Opportunity for Youth and Participation in the Global Scenario’, Jaishankar emphasized the necessity for a pragmatic approach in India’s dealings with China, underscoring the historical backdrop and the imperative of learning from past lessons.

Jaishankar elucidated that until 2014, little progress was made in bolstering border infrastructure, despite the harrowing lessons from the 1962 war with China. However, under the Modi government, the budget for border infrastructure surged from Rs 3,500 crore to Rs 14,500 crore. He emphasized the importance of understanding historical contexts, particularly India’s interactions with China since the 1950s.

The minister delved into historical anecdotes, citing the contrasting viewpoints between Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Jawaharlal Nehru regarding China’s intentions towards India. While Patel advocated for a cautious approach, warning against taking China’s assurances at face value, Nehru adopted a more idealistic stance, believing in the possibility of friendship with China. Jaishankar underscored the need for realism in India’s policy towards China, especially in light of recent events.

Highlighting recent developments, Jaishankar pointed out the substantial progress in border infrastructure, including the construction of tunnels, roads, and bridges along the China border. He reiterated India’s resolve to ensure stability and peace along the border while responding assertively to any provocations. Additionally, he addressed the economic challenges posed by China’s dominance in the Indian market, stressing the importance of domestic manufacturing for India’s self-reliance and competitiveness.

Jaishankar’s remarks come amid escalating tensions between India and China, particularly along the Line of Actual Control. He affirmed India’s commitment to upholding agreements with China while standing firm against any attempts to exert pressure. Prime Minister Modi also emphasized the significance of addressing border issues promptly to normalize bilateral interactions with China.

As India navigates its relationship with China, Jaishankar’s insights shed light on the pragmatic approach adopted by the Indian government, emphasizing the importance of historical lessons and strategic investments in border infrastructure.

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