Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid. (File photo)
DHARAMSHALA, December 16: India’s External Affairs Minister today said China was a "major concern," greater than Pakistan, and warned that India runs the risk of being completely overwhelmed by China if it fails to bring its economy on the right track.
Salman Khurshid was responding to queries on what was a bigger challenge for India - territorial dispute with China or trust deficit with Pakistan.
"China is necessarily more important in terms of our global vision. In terms of economics...in terms of stability and impact of stability that our friendship and understanding can have on Asia and South Asia. As far as Pakistan is concerned, it is more specific," Kurshid told PTI.
The minister, who was returning from Myanmar after a three-day visit, called China a “constant reminder” to India that it needs to put its economy on the right track.
“We can pretend that China is not there. But China is there and unless we put our economy on the right track, it is going to overwhelm us completely,” he said.
"So China is a major concern and Pakistan, in a significant way (is a concern) but not a major concern.”
Kurshid further mentioned that "linkages” between China and Pakistan were also important for India.
"China is part of a larger picture and Pakistan being part of that picture...significant part of the picture and can ruin that picture if Pakistan does not have right colour.”
Earlier this month, a Chinese government-linked company pleaded guilty to illegally exporting high-performance coatings from the US to a nuclear power plant in Pakistan.
According to the US Department of Justice, China Nuclear Industry Huaxing Construction was fined $3m and became the first Chinese company to admit guilt in a US criminal export case.
Nanjing-based Huaxing admitted to charges that it conspired to ship the epoxy coating through China to Pakistan's Chashma II Nuclear Power Plant in 2006 and 2007. The Chinese government-linked company was building the site as part of a nuclear cooperation pact signed between Pakistan and China.
The US has restricted nuclear-related exports to Pakistan since the country's detonation of a nuclear device in 1998.