04 August, 2021

Shifty, Uncertain Steps

Diplomats will have a hard time explaining our shifting posture on CTBT. We will have to counter the inference that our concern for justice lasted until we joined the haves.

Shifty, Uncertain Steps
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

THREE months after trying to attain the status of a nuclear power with the Pokhran II series of explosions, the image India presents abroad is of a confused nation very much on the diplomatic defensive. This sums up the views of the diplomats, officials, journalists and businessmen I met in Manila and Hong Kong after the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) session, and earlier in London and at a conference in Mexico City.

In contrast, after the initial shock of being named as a threat by India's defence minister, Beijing has lost little time in projecting the message that it will not accept any rival in the big power stakes in Asia, a status endorsed later by US president Bill Clinton. The line was set by envoy Zhou Gang in his interview to The Hindu on July 9 demanding explanations for New Delhi's "totally unreasonable and groundless" accusations against China before the knot in Sino-Indian ties could be untied. It was followed up by Chinese foreign minister Tang Jiaxuan at the ARF when he said: "The act of creating imaginary...

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