Modi's 'expansionist' remark not aimed at China: Swaraj

Sushma Swaraj
New Delhi, Sep 8: India today said it has a relationship of "cooperation and competition" with China while making it clear that the recent "expansionist" remark by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Japan did not specifically refer to any country.

Ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to India, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said India wants China to "understand and appreciate" its "sensitivities" regarding Arunachal Pradesh as New Delhi respects Beijing's position on Tibet and Taiwan.

"We have very good relationship with China. I must articulate that our relationship is that of cooperation and competition. But when Prime Minister Modi met President Xi in Fortaleza, they had very good equation. I think the outcome of this visit will be substantial and solid," said the minister, who was presenting a report card on 100 days in office.

Responding to a question on Modi's "expansionist" remark, Swaraj said, "He never referred to any specific country. It was media's guess. He spoke about 18th century expansionism."

Modi's remarks in Japan of an "expansionist" mindset of some countries riled the Chinese official media which said the Indian leader is more "intimate with Tokyo emotionally".

Referring to a meeting with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, who had come here in June, Swaraj said, "When they raised with us the issue of Tibet and Taiwan, we shared their sensitivities. So, we also want that they should understand and appreciate our sensitivities regarding Arunachal."

On criticism that Modi's recent visits to Nepal and Japan have not yielded any concrete results, the minister rejected it saying the loan from Japan was in trillions and not in billions like in past which was a big achievement.

She also referred to the Power Trade Agreement with Nepal. Swaraj noted that Modi was emerging as a popular leader across the world, which was both "eager and enthusiastic" to engage with the government in India.


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