Singapore: ‘India does not look at the cooperation with countries in the Indo-Pacific with a narrow minded military outlook but rather a comprehensive one. India is not interested in forming a group of a few countries who can dominate the region. Instead, India will be making efforts to provide security by extending military and naval co-operation with the countries in this region, offer humanitarian aid and goodwill campaigns during calamities,’ said Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Prime Minister Modi presented India’s progressive position about the Indo-Pacific region, while speaking at the security conference ‘Shangri La’ held in Singapore. He said, ‘This is a very important marine sector and the ten countries in Southeast Asia are connected with the Pacific Ocean in both the geographical and civilizational sense. Therefore, there is an extraordinary importance to the region’. Prime Minister Modi pointed out during his speech that India had recognised the importance of the sector well in advance and had taken steps to improve cooperation with the countries in this region.
The Prime Minister gave the example of the cooperation between India and Singapore to portray it. He said, ‘The Indian and Singaporean navies have been holding joint naval exercises for the past 25 years. A new war exercise will soon commence between the two countries and other countries from the region are also welcome to participate in it. India has also increased its cooperation with Vietnam and is helping the country to improve its defence capabilities. Similarly, Indian Navy is conducting the Malabar war exercise with the US navy, annually’. By conveying that the Japanese navy has also participated in it, Prime Minister Modi said that India has a clear point of view behind this.
Prime Minister Modi clarified that India does not have the aspiration to dominate the region with the help of other countries. By clarifying this position, Prime Minister Modi has shown that the Indian stance is different from the Chinese policy of domination. Serious concerns are being expressed in the Shangri-La Dialogue about the aggressive military activities of China in the Indo-Pacific region. Most of the countries in this region are worried about these Chinese activities in the region and hence, the number of countries turning against China is on the rise. In this situation, by stating that India is interested in constructive cooperation for security, Prime Minster Modi has presented the contrast between the Indian and Chinese policies at the international level.