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We need to get over syndrome that ‘West is bad guy’: Jaishankar

We need to get over syndrome that ‘West is bad guy’: Jaishankar

Thiruvananthapuram: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said the West was not the “bad guy” as it was not flooding Asian and African markets with goods on a massive scale and that there was a need to get over the “syndrome” of seeing it in a negative way.

Jaishankar, in an interview to Malayalam news channel Asianet News, also made it clear that he was not batting for the West. He was in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday as part of the launch of the PM Vishwakarma scheme.

“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 said.

Former Indian diplomat T P Sreenivasan interviewed the minister for the channel.

On being asked whether Chinese President Xi Jinping did not attend the G20 summit in New Delhi because it did not want India to be seen as leader of the Global South, Jaishankar said the reasons were up for speculation.

He said the issue today was the building up of a strong sense, over the last 15-20 years, over the inequities of globalisation where countries saw their products, manufacturing and employment come under stress due to their markets being flooded by cheap goods -- an indirect reference to the Chinese trade and economic policies.

The minister said this underlying resentment and pain of those countries regarding the global economy was building up for the last 15-20 years and the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine conflict resulted in prices of energy and food items going up.

So there was a sense of anger building up in countries about them being used as an extractive resource to fuel the economy of another nation and added that the West was not to be blamed for that.

He made it clear that he was not batting for the West and said that in today’s globalisation there was a concentration of manufacturing that was being leveraged and subsidised and was affecting economies of various nations.

However, India’s manufacturing, agriculture, scientific achievement like the Chandrayaan-3 mission, ability to vaccinate, etc all of that has created a sense among the Global South, which includes the African Union, “that one of us has the ability to stand, grow and progress”.

“So they identify with us in a way that they do not with other people,” Jaishankar said.

Responding to queries, he also spoke about the achievements of the G20 Summit under the Indian presidency and the threat posed by the political space given by Canada to the Khalistan group.

Jaishankar said that some of the major achievements of the G20 Summit under the Indian presidency was that India was able to get the influential group of nations back on the track of growth and development and also focus on the Global South initiative.

In addition to that, the country was also able to do diplomacy in a different way and through the summit created a greater interest in the nation about the Baltic, he said.

Jaishankar said India was a different country now with a different level of confidence and a different leadership and the manner in which G20 was conducted has only benefited nation.

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