Jibe at OBOR? PM Modi says need bridges of trust, not just infrastructure
Jibe at OBOR? PM Modi says need bridges of trust, not just infrastructurePM Narendra Modi laid out the fundamentals of Indiaâs role in the Indo-Pacific, saying on Friday that his government stood for a free, open and inclusive region with Asean at its centre.TNN & Agencies | Jun 2, 2018, 02:22 IST
- Modi called for a common rules-based order which, he said, must believe in sovereignty and territorial integrity
- He batted for an order which respected equality of all nations, irrespective of size and strength
- In a subtle message to China, he said that these rules should be based on the consent of all, not on the power of few
Delivering the keynote speech at the Shangri La Dialogue, the prestigious inter-governmental security forum, Modi called for a common rules-based order which, he said, must believe in sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as equality of all nations, irrespective of size and strength.
While Modi didnât sound confrontational, he sent out subtle messages to Beijing as he said that these rules and norms should be based on the consent of all, not on the power of the few. Modi sought closer ties with China, saying stable relations between the two countries were an important factor in global peace and progress. However, he also warned that while India understood the benefits of connectivity, it was also important to build bridges of trust, and not just infrastructure, in pursuing such initiatives.
And for that, he said, the se initiatives must be based on respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, consultation, good governance, transparency, viability and sustainability. âThey must empower nations, not place them under impossible debt burden. They must promote trade, not strategic competition. On these principles, we are prepared to work with everyone,â said Modi.
Despite pressure from Beijing, India is yet to show any interest in joining Chinaâs flagship One Belt, One Road (OBOR) connectivity project. âNo other relationship of India has as many layers as our relations with China... and, we have displayed maturity and wisdom in managing issues and ensuring a peaceful border,â said Modi. The PM said the world will have a better future when India and China work together in trust and confidence, sensitive to each otherâs interests.
At a time when several Asean nations are feeling insecure over Chinese muscle-flexing in South China Sea, Modi said when nations make internation al commitments, they must uphold them.
Addressing the international audience, the PM also spoke out strongly against protectionism. âWhat we seek is a level playing field for all. India stands for an open and stable international trade regime,â Modi said.
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