Executive Intelligence Review

FROM EIR DAILY ALERT


India’s Modi: The World Summons Us To Rise Above Divisions and Work Together

June 1, 2018 (EIRNS)—Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s keynote speech today opening the annual International Institute for Strategic Studies Asia Security Summit, known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, laid out a vision for a shared future for Asia and the world, antithetical to the geopolitical axioms of his British imperial hosts at IISS. Modi came into the meeting after his recent successful one-on-one dialogues with Presidents Xi and Putin to speak to this audience of defense professionals from over 50 countries as the representative of one of the world’s oldest civilizations. India, he made clear, intends to play its rightful role in shaping the emerging New Paradigm based on the common aims of humanity.

“For thousands of years, Indians have turned to the East. Not just to see the Sun rise, but also to pray for its light to spread over the entire world. Humankind now looks to the Rising East, with the hope to see the promise that this 21st century beholds for the whole world, because the destiny of the world will be deeply influenced by the course of developments in the Indo-Pacific region,” he said from the outset.

“Because, this new age of promise is also caught in shifting plates of global politics and the fault lines of history. I am here to say that the future we seek does not have to be as elusive as Shangri-La; that we can shape this region in our collective hopes and aspirations.”

Modi spoke of the Indo-Pacific as “a natural region,” rejecting those promoting that term as a geopolitical operation against China.

“India does not see the Indo-Pacific region as a strategy or a club of limited members. Nor as a grouping that seeks to dominate. And by no means do we consider it as directed against any country. A geographical definition, as such, cannot be. India’s vision for the Indo-Pacific region is, therefore, a positive one,”

Modi specified.

“Oceans had an important place in Indian thinking since pre-Vedic times. Thousands of years ago, the Indus Valley Civilization as well as Indian peninsula had maritime trade. Oceans and Varuna—the Lord of all Waters—find a prominent place in the world’s oldest books, the Vedas.”

Thus,

“the Indian Ocean has shaped much of India’s history. It now holds the key to our future. The ocean carries 90% of India’s trade and our energy sources.” But at the same time, it is “the life line of global commerce ... [and] now bears ships of major powers. Both raise concerns of stability and contest.”

India seeks “to cooperate for an architecture for peace and security in the region,” he affirmed, but warned that peace is only possible

“if we do not return to the age of great power rivalries. I have said this before: Asia of rivalry will hold us all back. Asia of cooperation will shape this century. So, each nation must ask itself: Are its choices building a more united world, or forcing new divisions? It is a responsibility that both existing and rising powers have. Competition is normal. But, contests must not turn into conflict; differences must not be allowed to become disputes.”

Modi spoke of India’s “strategic autonomy,” maintaining partnerships with the United States, Japan, Korea, Russia, China and Africa, as a reflection of the multipolar world order are needed. “Our friendships are not alliances of containment,” he reiterated. In this context he said that

“no other relationship of India has as many layers as our relations with China. We are the world’s two most populous countries and among the fastest growing major economies. Our cooperation is expanding. Trade is growing. And, we have displayed maturity and wisdom in managing issues and ensuring a peaceful border.

“In April, a two-day informal summit with President Xi helped us cement our understanding that strong and stable relations between our two nations are an important factor for global peace and progress,”

he said.

“I firmly believe that, Asia and the world will have a better future when India and China work together in trust and confidence, sensitive to each other’s interests.”

He concluded his speech with the beautiful statement that

“this world is at a crossroad. There are temptations of the worst lessons of history. But, there is also a path of wisdom. It summons us to a higher purpose: To rise above a narrow view of our interests and recognize that each of us can serve our interests better when we work together as equals in the larger good of all nations. I am here to urge all to take that path.”

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