S Jaishankar calls for shifting away from negative perception of the Westtext_fields
New Delhi: India's External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar said Indians need to move beyond the "syndrome" of viewing the West negatively.
He clarified that he was not advocating for the West but aimed to dispel the notion that the West was solely responsible for flooding Asian and African markets with goods. He was speaking to Asianet news channel.
Jaishankar, during his visit to Thiruvananthapuram for the launch of the PM Vishwakarma scheme, asserted, "It is not the West which is flooding Asia and Africa with goods on a massive scale. 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 highlighted the growing resentment among countries due to the inequities of globalisation.
This sentiment had been simmering for the past two decades, as markets were inundated with inexpensive goods, indirectly alluding to Chinese trade policies. Jaishankar noted that the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine conflict further exacerbated this situation by raising energy and food prices.
Jaishankar pointed out that the anger stemming from being exploited as an extractive resource to fuel another nation's economy couldn't be attributed to the West. He underscored that the issue lay in the concentration of manufacturing, which was being leveraged and subsidised, affecting various economies.
India's accomplishments in manufacturing, agriculture, scientific achievements like the Chandrayaan-3 mission, and its vaccination efforts have garnered respect from the Global South. This sense of achievement led countries in this group, including the African Union, to identify with India in a unique way.
Regarding the G20 Summit held under India's presidency, Jaishankar highlighted that India successfully steered the influential group of nations back toward growth and development. The summit also focused on initiatives for the Global South.
He commended the diplomacy employed during the summit and its impact on India's standing in the international community.
Furthermore, Jaishankar emphasised that the agenda-setting power should not rest solely with the West or a select few countries. India showcased this during the summit by convening the Voice of the Global South summit, which brought together 125 nations, shaping the agenda collectively.
He clarified that being part of the Global South was more about a shared feeling of solidarity rather than a formal definition, and India was not claiming to be its leader.
On the issue of the economic corridor stretching from India to Europe via the Middle East, Jaishankar welcomed the potential job opportunities for people migrating abroad. However, he expressed concern about the impact of the Khalistan group's activities in Canada on India's relations with that country.
The minister cautioned against countries providing space for such groups in their politics, stressing the importance of responsibility in democracies. He highlighted that these actions were not in the best interest of the host country, whether it's Canada today or another nation tomorrow.
Regarding the G20 declaration and the Ukraine conflict, Jaishankar mentioned that compromises were made during the summit, and "there was a lot of give and take." He underlined the need for a different outcome in New Delhi, indicating that the G20 summit in India was distinctive and focused on the Global South.
The minister also emphasised India's transformed confidence, leadership, and ability to shape agendas, both at the G20 summit and on the international stage.