Published By: Aditi Ray Chowdhury
Last Updated: September 08, 2023, 18:49 IST
London, United Kingdom (UK)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said the United States, Europe, and India need to create an alternative, competitive model to the Chinese production model that is ”coercive.” Gandhi was addressing the journalists at the Brussels Press Club in Brussels on the second day of his visit.
Gandhi is on an almost week-long tour of Europe during which he is to hold meetings with European Union (EU) lawmakers, students, and the Indian Diaspora.
Stating that “China is proposing a particular view or particular vision of the planet,” Gandhi said, “They (China) are putting on the table the idea of the Belt and Road (the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). And one of the reasons they are able to do that is because they have become a centre of global production.” The ambitious Belt and Road Initiative initiated by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 envisions connecting China with Europe and beyond through rebuilding the old Silk Road trade route.
“But I don’t see an alternative vision coming from our side. That vision requires a vision for production in a democratic environment. What the Chinese have basically shown is that it is possible to produce effectively in a coercive environment, where you don’t give people freedom, where you restrict their freedom but you offer them prosperity without political freedom,” the Congress leader said in response to a question.
Emphasising that the “challenge for us is can we provide an alternative vision where we do production under democratic conditions with political and economic freedom,” the Gandhi scion said, “There is a lot of cooperation that can happen between the US, Europe and between us and I think that’s where a lot of our focus should go. How can we create an alternative to the Chinese production model that is a coercive production model? A competitive vision?” He was answering a question regarding his next political priorities and his world vision on international relations in view of the growing global tensions, including the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Gandhi had commented on similar lines during his visit to Cambridge in March 2023.
Earlier on Thursday, Gandhi said he had held a closed-door meeting with some members of the European Parliament (MEPs).
Gandhi is expected to return by September 11, following the conclusion of the G20 Leaders Summit being held in Delhi from September 9-10. India is hosting the summit with over 30 heads of state and international dignitaries in attendance.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)