India keeps China in focus, appoints Gokhale as new FS

Gokhale as Jaishankar's successor fits India's plan to handle challenge from its northern neighbour

shankar

Shankar Kumar | January 3, 2018 | New Delhi


#Shyam Saran   #Beijing   #China   #Jaishankar   #Gokhale   #Foreign secretary   #Jawaharlal Nehru  
 Vijay Keshav Gokhale, foreign secretary (Photo: MEA)
Vijay Keshav Gokhale, foreign secretary (Photo: MEA)

 With Vijay Keshav Gokhale being appointed as the next foreign secretary, India has continued with the trend of making mandarin speaking Chinese expert as the head of South Block. 

In 2004, Shyam Saran, the then Indian ambassador to Nepal, was picked as the head of the staff of the ministry of the external affairs because he was a brilliant Chinese specialist who was familiar with China’s world view. He had served in Mauritius, Myanmar and Indonesia. 
 
Similarly, before being appointed as Shyam Saran’s successor on September 1, 2006, Shivshankar Menon was the head of the Indian mission in Beijing. He was also a known Chinese specialist.
 
Nirupama Rao, India’s second woman foreign secretary after Chokila Iyer, was the Chinese specialist who had helmed the country’s diplomatic mission in China from October 2006 to July 2009. In the intervening period from August 1, 2009 to January 15, 2015, South Block was headed by foreign secretaries such as Ranjan Mathai and Sujatha Singh who were neither in India’s mission in Beijing as ambassadors nor did they belong to exclusive club of Chinese specialists. 
 
But again Sujatha Singh’s successor and current foreign secretary S Jaishankar belongs to that Chinese specialist pedigree, who had also had his ambassadorial stint in Beijing.
 
Gokhale, a 1981-batch Indian Foreign Service officer who is currently secretary economic relations in the MEA, will be in South Block’s hot seat from January 28. He was India’s ambassador to China from January 20, 2016 to October 21, 2017. He has the rare distinction of serving in Hong Kong and in Taiwan as the director general of India Taipei Association. He is said to have played a crucial role in resolving the fractious 73-day long standoff between India and China at Doklam.  
 
Overall Gokhale is among the 23 diplomats who have had their ambassadorial stints in Beijing since the 1950s. However, R K Nehru, India’s first prime minister Jawahar Lal Nehru’s relative, became ambassador to China after demitting his office as foreign secretary in October 1955. He was the second foreign secretary of India.  Nonetheless, by appointing 58-year-old Gokhale as the new foreign secretary, the incumbent Narendra Modi government has made it clear that its priority in external policy front will be China.   
 

Comments

 

Other News

“Key milestones achieved in Assam”

In an interview with Governance Now, Anil Kumar Jha, special DGP, CID, Assam, who is also nodal officer for the CCTNS project, speaks of what the system in its present form has helped his state achieve. What is the current status of CCTNS in Assam and its outcome?

Crime tracking project: Bugged from the beginning

A stand-off between the ministry of home affairs (MHA) and software development firm Wipro seems to have long held up the Rs 2,000 crore crime and criminal tracking network and systems (CCTNS) project, conceptualised ten years ago. The project aims to digitise and connect all police stations in the country

Activists question displacement and dispossession of marginalised communities

Questioning the development model pushed ahead for profit oriented growth, social and political activists, academicians, financial analysts and civil society organisations are holding a three day confluence of Peoples’ Convention on Infrastructure Financing in Mumbai.     &nb

The enemy within

About one-fourth of India’s elderly face abuse at the hands of those they trust the most – the son (52%)  followed  by the daughter in law (34%),spouse/partner (14%), daughter(6%)  grandchild (6%), son in law(3%), parent(1%) and care giver(1%), reveals a report by the HelpAge Ind

Who has been investing in India through Mauritius?

The official statistics provided by the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) under the ministry of commerce and industry shows that between January 2000 and December 2017, India received $368 billion of foreign direct investment (FDI). It also says that Mauritius was the source of $125 bill

The neighbour and the valley

The declaration communicated through the director general of military operations (DGMO) of Pakistan and India on May 29, 2018, to implement the ceasefire agreement of 2003 between the two countries in “letter and  spirit” has opened up an opportunity to restore peace in the disturbed Kashm

Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter