Working with US for future of Asia, says PM Modi

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Manila, Philippines: Hours after meeting US President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 13 said that India has always believed in “giving” rather than “snatching”, and has never claimed other’s territories. Modi’s remarks came in the wake of rising assertiveness by Beijing in the Indo-Pacific region, especially in the South China Sea.
“If you see the history of India, it has believed in giving rather than asking. Moreover, it has never believed in snatching,” Modi said, while addressing the Indian community in Manila on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit.
The Prime Minister’s remarks were also reminiscent of his comments in Japan in 2014, when he said that some countries “encroach” on others, some “enter the seas”, and some “capture other’s territory”.
They came around two hours after his second bilateral meeting since June with US President Donald Trump and a day after Indian, American, Japanese and Australian officials met for the first “quadrilateral” meeting.
At the bilateral meeting, Trump called Modi a “friend” and a “great gentleman” who “is doing a fantastic job” in bringing a lot of groups together in India.
”It’s great to have Prime Minister Modi here. We’ve had him at the White House, and he’s become a friend of ours and a great gentleman doing a fantastic job in bringing around lots of factions in India — bringing them all together. That’s what I hear, and that’s good news. And it really is. It’s a lot of good reports coming out of India. So I want to congratulate you,” he told reporters, at the beginning of the meeting at Sofitel Philippine Plaza hotel.
The meeting began more than an hour behind schedule, with Modi saying, as Trump listened, that they are working together for the “interest of the future of Asia” and “for humanity as whole in the world”. From the Indian point of view, this statement clearly placed security and stability of Asia at the center, while linking it with the rest of the world.
”The relations between India and the United States are growing very rapidly with a great deal of speed. And they’re getting deeper and very comprehensive. And I also feel that these relations between India and the US, they are not just for our mutual interests, but they go much beyond that. And we are working together for the interest of the future of Asia and for humanity as a whole in the world. And there are many areas where we are working together and we can work together in the future, too,” said Modi.
The Prime Minister pointed out that Trump had spoken highly of India, in a reference to the US President’s remarks at the APEC meeting where he praised Modi’s leadership.
”And in the past few days, wherever President Trump has travelled and whenever an opportunity arose to talk about India, he has expressed a very high opinion about India and also things which are full of hope whenever he has spoken about India,” he said.
Hinting at India’s role in the South Asia strategy as well as in the Indo-Pacific, Modi said that India would meet expectations. “And I would like to assure you that whatever the expectations are of the world, of the United States, from India, India has always worked and made efforts to do our bit and to fulfill those expectations. And we will continue to do so in the future, too,” Modi said.
Later, at the Indian community reception, Modi said that in India’s history, dating back to 5,000 years, it has “never done anything bad to any country”.
During the first and second world wars, he said, India didn’t need to claim any territory and that Indian soldiers fought to bring peace. Stating that Indians constituted the largest peacekeeping force in the world, he underlined that India was the land of Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi.
However, Modi said that only if India was strong and capable, would the world accept to live in peace, indicating the importance of economic and military strength so that other countries respect India.

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