Was there a hint towards China
Prime Minister Modi co-chaired the summit with his Papua New Guinean counterpart James Marape. India’s engagement with 14 Pacific Island Countries (PICs) is part of its ‘Act East’ policy. If experts are to be believed, PM Modi did not name China, but his reference was probably towards it. In the year 2020, when the world was battling with COVID-19, China was engaged in increasing the confrontation in East Ladakh. But everyone wants to know who are those confidants whom PM Modi attacked without naming them.
China’s aggressive attitude
The Prime Minister’s comments at the summit held in the capital of Papua New Guinea come at a time when China is adopting an aggressive approach in the region and is trying to increase its influence on the Pacific island countries. Modi is the first Prime Minister of India to visit Papua New Guinea. Referring to the adverse impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic and other global challenges, Modi said, “Those whom we considered our confidants, it was found that they did not stand by us in times of need.” In these difficult times, the old saying proved true: A true friend is the one who comes in handy in difficult times.
with you all the way
Prime Minister Modi arrived here on Sunday on the second leg of his three-nation tour. He also underlined the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific for Pacific island countries and said that India respects the sovereignty and integrity of all countries. Addressing the Forum for Indo-Pacific Island Cooperation (FIPIC), Modi assured the Pacific island nations that India is ready to share its experiences and capabilities with them “without hesitation” and that “we will are with you.
India a reliable partner
He said, “I am happy that India stood shoulder to shoulder with our Pacific Island countries even in these difficult times. Be it vaccines or essential medicines made in India or wheat or sugar, India continued to help its fellow countries to the best of its abilities. The Prime Minister said that India’s approach to partnership for development based on “human values”. He said, “India respects your priorities. We are proud to be a partner in your development– whether it is humanitarian aid or your development, you can look to India as a trusted partner.