Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during this five-day visit of three countries this week, once again attempted to show the expansion of the religious and cultural links of India spread to the inter-community level.
At the same time, they see strengthening of inter-state relations by giving an extension of defense and economic partnership.
It’s a domicled area of China. In the member countries of the Association of South-East Asian countries, there is a dispute over the claim of China’s claim to China’s South China Sea. China is engaged in the construction of the islands and the disregard of international laws on its behalf is the biggest reason for the concern of these countries.
During the speech of Prime Minister Modi in Shangri La dialogue, India’s soft attitude was expressed.
Just 24 hours before Modi’s speech, US Defense Secretary Jim Matisse had said that the United States is committed to preventing militarization of the islands being carried out by China in the South China Sea.
A few days ago, the US Navy ships passed through these islands. Its purpose was to determine the freedom of movement. China strongly condemned it.
During the past two weeks, there have been reports in the media about the US intelligence that China has installed anti-ship cruise missiles, surface-to-air missile systems and electronic jammers on the Sprilli Islands.
According to the reports, such missiles have also been installed on Fairy Cross Reef, Subi Reef and Misfatch Reef.
Mission of Modi
Last week, China had sent its niche H-6K bomber to the Paracels Islands. Through these, China ensures its vulnerability to the spread of the South China Sea.
It is also speculated that China can soon announce ‘Air Defense Identification Zone’ in the South China Sea, through which the operation of ships and aircraft of other countries can be strictly prohibited.
In the Shangri-La dialogue, Modi presented ‘commitment to rule-based system’ keeping ‘India’s theoretical stance for maritime security’ in front. This would have been ridiculed if he had not spent four days of hard work to use India’s cultural ties as a base to expand defense and economic partnership.
Modi met President of Indonesia Joko Widodo, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahatir Mohammed and Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Siang Lun. Keeping in view of the rigidity and flexibility, Modi did not allow the issue to diminish the seriousness of the issue.
India expressed commitment for the freedom of movement for free trade in the Asian Maritime Border, and just 48 hours before that, India had expressed its intention to develop infrastructure and development of an important zoning infrastructure at the important Sawang port from Malacca Straits.
Modi’s visit to Chagi Navic base and meeting with officials and sailors of INS Satpura indicated the expansion of India’s marine profile.
Modi tried to underline that India’s intimidating relations with China would not be affected due to the expansion of bilateral commercial and trade relations.
Emphasis on cultural relations
Modi wants to strengthen his ‘East East Policy’. India’s role in the Hind-Pacific region has been strengthened through the restoration of America-Japan-Australia-India’
Till now, efforts have been made to find opportunities for India. India has built a distance from the strengths of the American army and China’s economic expansion.
In this area, cultural relations are seen as good conveyor belt or medium in carrying forward the interests of India’s development and security.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party also talks about reducing the great past of India on the domestic front and it provides a foundation for strategic partnership.
Through this it is understandable that Prime Minister Modi’s academics, business executives, public sector celebrities and meeting with NRIs meet. They have a very important role in strengthening their inter-regional partnership.
Anonymity to indonesia
Modi’s five-day visit commenced with Indonesian President Mahal Mardeka where the two leaders presented a shared vision of Maritime Cooperation in the Indian Ocean region.
15 agreements, including defense cooperation, were signed, but continued to show strong cultural links. In the shared press conference, Modi mentioned the ‘Balijatra’ of Odisha whose table was in the parade of the Republic Day this year. On Republic Day, leaders from all the ten countries of South East Asia were the chief guests.
Every year in the memory of thousands of years of cultural ties, a trade fair is organized every year in Cuttack, Odisha, on the banks of the Mahanadi.
Modi reiterated the story of Bali visit while addressing the Diaspora community in Jakarta.
He also mentioned that he and President Vidodas come from the normal background and both came to power in 2014.
He invited the people to come to Allahabad’s Kumbh fair and face the ‘New India’. Modi announced that ‘citizens of Indonesia will be given a free visa for thirty days’ tour.
Photos of the two leaders kite flying in Jakarta were broadcast on TV. Here, for the first time a joint exhibition of kites was installed, whose theme was Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Here too, Modi emphasized the close cultural and historical relations of Malaysia and India. Through which the country is a strategic partner of India and the last two years between the two countries reached $ 15 billion and $ 44 million.
In Singapore, Indian Prime Minister Modi presented a replica of the Buddha Gupta statue of the sixth century to the Prime Minister of Singapore, Singapore. In this, culture compositions have been engraved in Pallava script. It states that Buddhism has spread from India in South Asia. Modi also addressed the Overseas Indian community and called Singapore the ‘Springboard’ of India.
However, considering China’s historical leaning and 76 percent population of Chinese origin, Singapore has an equal distance from China and India.
This is the reason why Singapore has kept distance from America Japan Australia and India’s bilateral forum.
Prime Minister Loong emphasized the strengthening of the overall economic partnership of East Asian countries led by China. The eight agreements signed between India and Singapore were signed. These include cooperation for training of public service officers, cooperation between Cyber Security, Narcotics Control and Navy.
Working group has also been formed for linking the payment system of both the countries and reviewing the economic partnership. Through this, the bilateral trade between the two countries has reached $ 18 billion now, compared to nine billion dollars in 2004.
There is no doubt that there is a situation of unease about China’s aggressive policy and its claims in the South China Sea. Four other countries Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam also present their claim on the South China Sea.
Because of this, India’s acceptability in this area has increased. India has been avoiding standing with any side. In the Shangri-La dialogue, Modi’s speech can be understood as the desire to move forward by building the basis of social cultural and symbolic diplomacy. Otherwise it can be seen as the soft approach of India.