Vientiane, September 8 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the 11th East Asia Summit today in the Laotian capital of Vientiane. This was his second address of the day, the first being his speech at the 14th ASEAN summit. Though Narendra Modi started out his monologue on a soft note by thanking Laos for the excellent summit arrangements, his speech took a rather sharp turn afterwards. The highlight of Modi’s speech can easily be identified in the rather punching remarks he delivered against the two major destabilising issues of the region. The first being Pakistan’s continual use of terror as an instrument of state policy and the second being the aggressive stance taken by China on the safeguard of the seas.
Modi summarised the issues by saying, “Competing geo-politics, traditional & non-traditional challenges threaten peace, stability & prosperity of region. “This of course was a clear reference to the need that china feels to support Pakistan’s illicit terrorism-related activities, in the mere attempt to keep India tied up. The obvious concern for all countries in the world with such a policy is that the blowback does not stick to international boundaries. (ALSO READ :Narendra Modi at ASEAN summit: Slams Pakistan sponsored terrorism and takes a dig at China)
Addressing the issue, Modi said, “Terrorism is the most serious challenge to open & pluralistic societies. Combating it requires a collective effort. We need to target not only the terrorists but also their entire supporting ecosystem. Our strongest action should be reserved for those state actors who employ terrorism as an instrument of State Policy.There is one country in our neighbourhood whose competitive advantage rests solely in producing & exporting terrorismThis export is reducing space for peace & increasing space for violence. And, putting at risk peace & prosperity of all.”
The Prime Minister then turned to the other state creating a regional headache. Most member countries of the East Asia Summit are wary of China’s naval policy. China also maintains a policy of sponsoring Pakistan so as to keep India preoccupied and try to slow down its emergence as a global superpower. Narendra Modi addressed the issue and said, “India supports freedom of navigation, over flight and unimpeded commerce,based on principles of international law. Sea lanes of communication passing through the South China Sea are main arteries of global merchandise trade.” He then added, “Have to be mindful of common security challenges. India will organise the 2nd EAS Conference on maritime security & cooperation later this year for this.”
Speaking at the East Asia Summit, Modi said, “We expect that ASEAN will continue to lead & remain central to efforts aimed at greater regional integration & co-operation.” Earlier in the 14th ASEAN summit, Modi had addressed the two issues forcefully as well. He had made similar references at the G20 summit in the past week. It is extremely crucial for India to bring up the challenges it faces from China and Pakistan at every possible global forum . After all, the two countries want to tie down India to the South Asian region, what better way to remind them that India is a global power by highlighting their fraud at every influential global platform.