Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has asserted that India cannot be pushed around by China as he underlined that the relationship between the two neighbours is going to be "tough" and not an easy one.
Gandhi, who is in the US for a three-city US tour, made the remarks on Wednesday night in response to a question from Indian students at the Stanford University Campus in California.
"How do you see the India-China relationship evolving in the next 5-10 years?” he was asked.
Gandhi replied, "It's tough right now. I mean, they've occupied some of our territory. It's rough. It's not too easy (a relationship)." "India cannot be pushed around. That something is not going to happen,” Gandhi said.
India and China are also locked in a lingering border standoff in eastern Ladakh for three years.
The bilateral relationship came under severe strain following the deadly clash in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in June 2020.
India has maintained that the bilateral relationship cannot be normal unless there is peace in the border area.
During his interaction at Stanford University, Gandhi supported New Delhi’s policy of having its relationship with Russia in the context of the Ukrainian war, despite the pressure it feels from the West.
"We have a relationship with Russia, we have certain dependencies on Russia. So, I would have a similar stance as the Government of India,” Gandhi said in response to a question when asked does he supports India’s neutral stance on Russia.
At the end of the day, India has to look for its own interest. India, he said, is a big enough country whereby it generally will have relationships with other countries.
It's not so small and dependent that it will have a relationship with one and nobody else, he added.
"We will always have these types of relationships. We will have better relationships with some people, evolving relationships with other people. So that balance is there,” the former Congress president said.
Supporting a strong relationship between India and the United States, Gandhi underscored the importance of manufacturing and both countries collaborating in emerging fields like data and artificial intelligence. Simply focusing on the security and defence aspect of this bilateral relationship is not enough he said.
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