US-China trade war may not be a bad thing, says Jais­hankar

Modi-Trump meet likely on UNGA ses­sion mar­gins

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Nation - TIMES NEWS NET­WORK

New Delhi: Ex­ter­nal af­fairs min­is­ter S Jais­hankar has said the on­go­ing trade war be­tween the US and China “may not be such a bad thing” if it re­sults in fairer mar­ket ac­cess all over the world. The re­mark came in the con­text of the In­dia-China eco­nomic re­la­tion­ship, which is in fo­cus as the clock runs down on the Re­gional Com­pre­hen­sive Eco­nomic Part­ner­ship (RCEP) ne­go­ti­a­tions in Sin­ga­pore.

In an in­ter­view on CNA, Jais­hankar noted that his country too has had fric­tion with China, con­cern­ing mar­ket ac­cess. “I run a mas­sive trade deficit with China. It ac­counts for more than 50% of my trade deficit,” he said.

Jais­hankar said he wasn’t ar­gu­ing that trade deficits are by def­i­ni­tion bad or wrong. “It is whether the trade deficits are out­comes of mar­ket forces, whether they re­flect your com

PLAINSPEAK:

pe­t­i­tive­ness, or they’re out­comes of lack of fair mar­ket ac­cess. Now, in the case of In­dia, again we have a very big pharma in­dus­try, we have a big IT busi­ness. They are glob­ally suc­cess­ful… (but) we have very lit­tle busi­ness in China.”

Asked if US was try­ing to use In­dia as part of a con­tain­ment pol­icy for China, he said: “A lot of peo­ple who say that, are peo­ple who have a Cold War mind­set, who have lived through con­tain­ment, who have prac­tised con­tain­ment … so they are trans­pos­ing their terms, their vi­sions, their fears, their past on all of this.” PMNaren­dra

Modi and US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump may hold their third meet­ing of the year in New York on the mar­gins of the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly ses­sion later this month. The two lead­ers had first met this year in Osaka for the G20 and then at Biar­ritz in France re­cently for the G7 sum­mit. Modi is ex­pected to be in New York from Septem­ber 23 to 28 for the UNGA ses­sion. Plans are afoot for a day-long visit to Washington DC for a meet­ing with Trump.

The meet­ing will come even as the PM pre­pares to ad­dress the UNGA on Septem­ber 27, the same day as his Pak­istani coun­ter­part Im­ran Khan.

Modi will ad­dress the UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral’s cli­mate sum­mit on Septem­ber 24.

Jais­hankar

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