China is India's longtime "strategic challenge" but not a "threat", a group of strategic and defence experts said today.
Maintaining that in early '90s the Communist nation was very nervous about India, Centre for Air-Power Studies Director Air Commodore (retd) Jasjit Singh said that China now has become very assertive towards New Delhi.
"China is India's longtime strategic challenge, but not a threat and we have to ensure that it does not become a threat," Singh told a United Services Institution (USI) seminar on "Rising China: Opportunity or Strategic Challenge" in New Delhi.
Observing that the geo-political power in 21st century was shifting to Asia, Lt Gen (retd) V R Raghavan said it was because of the rise of China, India and Japan in the region.
Echoing Raghavan's view, Singh said power was returning back to the East after it was badly-hit by the industrial revolution in the West.
"Industrial revolution in Europe had affected the growth of both China and India. The two nations, at the beginning of the 18th century, had contained 62 per cent of the world's GDP, with China containing 32 per cent and India 22 per cent," he said.
Citing unemployment, growing gap between rich and poor, and corruption as main challenges for Beijing, Prof Zhang Guihong of China's Fudan University said rise of the 'Dragon nation' was peaceful.