Jaishankar dismisses ‘West as bad guy’ narrative

Jaishankar dismisses ‘West as bad guy’ narrative

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  • September 18, 2023
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S. Jaishankar has rejected the conventional view that sees the West as adversarial to developing countries. India’s External Affairs Minister highlighted the complexities of today’s global landscape while also shedding light on the rising influence of the Global South. The minister was interviewed by former Indian diplomat T.P. Sreenivasan for Asianet News during his visit to Thiruvananthapuram for the launch of the PM Vishwakarma scheme.

“I think we need to get over the syndrome of the past that the West is the bad guy and on the other side are the developing countries. The world is more complicated, the problems are much more complicated than that,” the minister said.

Jaishankar stressed that the West should not be singled out as the source of economic stress for Asia and Africa. Instead, he hinted at Chinese economic policies being a primary source of concern, particularly for nations suffering from market inundation by low-cost goods.

On the issue of China’s absence from the recent G20 Summit held in New Delhi, the minister said any interpretation of the Chinese president’s no-show would be speculative. He suggested that India’s ability to lead the Global South had not gone unnoticed and was not necessarily linked to China’s diplomatic moves.

While discussing the G20 Summit, Jaishankar indicated that India’s presidency had led to a renewed focus on growth and development. He also highlighted the Indian initiative to shift the global conversation toward the Global South.

He acknowledged Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “decisive leadership” in focusing on the Global South and the African Union’s membership during the G20 Summit, PTI reported.

According to him, India’s leadership in conducting the summit signalled a change in the balance of global decision-making. He pointed out that the agenda didn’t have to be decided by traditional powers like the P5 or the West.

Discussing the Global South’s significance, the minister described it not as a defined group, but as a sentiment of solidarity among developing countries. Jaishankar also commented on the increasing political space given to the Khalistan group in Canada, emphasising that nations must exercise greater responsibility.

On India’s diplomatic finesse regarding the Ukraine crisis at the G20 Summit, he said that a balanced stance was achieved after “give and take” negotiations, suggesting that the New Delhi outcome was distinctly different from previous summits.

(With PTI inputs)

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Updated: 18 Sep 2023, 10:24 AM IST

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