Narendra Modi in Singapore: PM calls China 'pivotal partner' in trade, says differences must not become disputes

Emphasising on the expanding co-operation India and China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called China a pivotal partner to India at the keynote address at the Shangri-La dialogue in Singapore. The prime minister went on to say that trade is growing and India has displayed maturity and wisdom in managing issues and ensuring a peaceful border. "No other relationship of India has as many layers as our relationship with China," said Modi in a keynote address at the Shangri-La dialogue in Singapore.

"I firmly believe that Asia and the world will have a better future when India and China work together in trust and confidence, " the prime minister said mentioning the growing intersection in our international presence, said Modi.

Talking about the Asean-India summit, he said the summit bears the Asean testimony to our commitment to Act East Policy. "Singapore is our spring board to Asean," said the prime minister.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivering keynote address  in Singapore on Friday. Twitter@PMOIndia

Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivering keynote address in Singapore on Friday. Twitter@PMOIndia

"India stands for a free, open, inclusive Indo-Pacific region, which embraces us all in a common pursuit of progress and prosperity. It includes all nations in this geography as also others beyond who have a stake in it," said Modi. He further expressed the government's vision for India saying, "Our principal mission is transforming India to a New India by 2022, when independent India will be 75 years young."

Further, the prime minister clarified that India does not see the Indo-Pacific region as a strategy or as a club of limited members.

Commenting on international disputes, the prime minister said, "Competition is normal. But, contests must not turn into conflict; differences must not be allowed to become disputes."

He further remarked, "Solutions cannot be found behind walls of protection, but in embracing change. What we seek is a level playing field for all. India stands for open and stable international trade regime,"

Talking about how the Indian Ocean shaped much of India's history with a significant volume of trade flowing to the East, Modi focused on regional unity that has made the region a trading hub. "The Indian Ocean carries 90 percent of our trade," said Modi.

On Friday, India and Singapore agreed to deepen their economic and defence ties as they signed eight agreements including one on logistics cooperation between their navies after wide-ranging talks between Modi and his counterpart Lee Hsien Loong.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Jun 01, 2018 19:18:49 IST

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