New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar said on Monday (September 7) that the rise of China and its enormous expansion is a reality, and the world has truly entered a new phase of international relations.
Speaking virtually at the Australian National University’s JG Crawford Oration 2021, he said, “We have entered a new phase of international relations and the full impact of China’s re-emergence will be felt more than those of major powers.”
“Where the US, as an entrenched power, is understandably struggling is in respect of new manifestations of exerting influence and wielding power,” he said and added -it not only has the inherent vulnerabilities. “Let’s be clear, this is not just about the rise of another power, however, major,” he said in reference to Beijing. He said China has a “deep relevance” to the global economy.
He said there is the rise of China, the growth of India, an economic rebalancing with Asia as a driver, the end of the Cold War and changes in the top 20 economies are some critical changes.
“Developments in American and British politics, particularly, have added a dramatic aspect to the evolution of the world order.”
He said it could not be very different production and consumption patterns that would leave our world unaffected.
“But it is much more than that, as we have witnessed quantum shifts along with more organic change. The geopolitical turbulence in the Indo-Pacific, the ripple implications of the Afghanistan withdrawal and the larger consequences of the Covid pandemic are three such current examples.”
A keen and seasoned observer of the international order for long, Dr Jaishankar said, “Those who connect the dots would surely agree that we are really now at the cusp of something big. As we seek to discern the outlines of what emerges next, there is no question that the Indo-Pacific would be very much at its core.”
Of course, dwelling on various facets of roles to be played by Quad countries- the US, India, Japan and Australia, Jaishankar said the United States is undeniably the “premier power of our times and will remain so.”
Indeed, he said, its centrality to the current order is its ally, competitor, the agnostic or the undecided. None of us can really be indifferent to its posture. “There are different ways by which the US is itself coming to terms with its constraints and its challenges”.
But what is important to recognize is that in its own unique way, the American polity is going through a serious introspection, he said.
“That could well result in a different method of engaging the world. Among its policy changes are a greater emphasis on burden sharing and an openness to partners beyond established relationships,” he said.