India has given tremendous attention to its neighbouring countries in the past few years in a bid to improve relations with its next door neighbours. Prime Minister Narendra Modi led BJP government at the centre has tapped into the huge potential growth and trade prospects in the ongoing five year rule. Modi’s visit to the neighbouring countries has boosted the ties with countries all around the globe. India’s foreign policies have faced tough competition from China with a huge expansionist approach China had tried to dominate countries all around the globe. The plan didn’t work out well though as very soon other countries understood the game China was up for. This led to the ongoing confrontations with almost all of its neighbours, from land to sea China is now facing resistance from the countries. Starting today PM Modi is on a three nation tour of Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. This five day visit by PM Modi will be filled with meetings held with key leaders from the three nations and a keynote address at the strategic Shangri-La Dialogue on 1st June.
PM Modi’s visit is important as it is a continuation of the massive engagement and cooperation exercise he had previously initiated with the South Eastern countries. India basically wants to counter the threat posed by China and coming together with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with the quad team of USA, India, Japan, Australia is the only way to achieve this. The strategic Shangri-La Dialogue is important as the US Defence Secretary James Mattis will be delivering an address at the Dialogue. The address is most likely to focus on China’s growing appetite and the ways to counter it.
India’s Look East policy has undergone a change and has become Act East policy under PM Modi. This was showcased in the Republic Day parade in 2018 when leaders of ASEAN were invited as the chief guest. According to PM Modi the five day visit to the three nations will boost our Act East Policy and enhance our relations with the countries. “I will be holding detailed discussions with President Joko Widodo in Jakarta. There will also be interactions with top CEOs and the Indian community in Indonesia”, Modi tweeted on Monday.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 28, 2018
He further said ,”On 31st May, on my way to Singapore, I will make a brief halt in Malaysia to congratulate the new Malaysian leadership. I look forward to meet Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad (sic),”.
This visit by PM Modi will help counter the challenge of China. Global leaders like Trump too realizes the danger posed by the Chinese. Japan and other neighbouring countries too have started looking towards India to counter the increasing dominance of China through CPEC and One Belt One Road initiative and its attempt to control the South China Sea. PM Modi’s visit will boost the image of India and will help in building ties with the ASEAN countries in the years to come.