'When Panda Huggers Try To Be China Hawks, It Doesn't Fly': Jaishankar Shuts Down Rahul Gandhi's Gushing Praise Of CCP
Speaking at the India Today Conclave in New Delhi on Saturday, Dr S Jaishankar, India's External Affairs Minister, expressed concerns about the recent comments made by Rahul Gandhi, a leader of the Indian National Congress, on India's relationship with China.
Jaishankar referred to Gandhi's remarks as troubling and criticized the opposition leader for being dismissive about India while seemingly praising China. When asked for his thoughts on Gandhi's recent address made in the United Kingdom, he said, "I am troubled as a citizen of India when I see somebody drooling over China and being dismissive about India."
He stated, "When Panda huggers try to be China hawks... it doesn't fly."
"He [Rahul Gandhi] speaks admiringly about the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). He compares, very poetically, I must say, the BRI with the Yellow River in China gushing forward. The BRI goes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. It violates our national integrity and sovereignty. He doesn't have a word to say about it," a visibly upset Jaishankar said.
"Why is somebody undermining national morale like this?," Jaishankar asked, noting that the Congress leader's one-word description of China at the talk organized by the Cambridge University was "harmony" while for India it was "discord."
Jaishankar's comments come amid heightened tensions between India and China, particularly following a deadly border clash in 2020.
Speakig at the conclave, Jaishankar asserted that India's relationship with China can only return to normalcy after resolving all outstanding issues at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
He acknowledged that the bilateral ties between the countries are currently in a "challenging and abnormal phase" due to heightened tensions at the Himalayan border and along the LAC in Arunachal Pradesh.
While both nations have made significant progress in disengagement and are discussing scaling down troop build-up at other friction points, Jaishankar warned that the situation remains "fragile" and "dangerous" as per military assessment.
"The situation, to my mind, remains very fragile because there are places where our deployments are very close, and in military assessment, actually quite dangerous," the minister told the gathering.
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