Asia of cooperation will shape century: PM Modi at Shangri-La Dialogue

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This is the first time an Indian Prime Minister addressed the event. In a speech to a U.S. think-tank in October, then-US secretary of state Rex Tillerson had contrasted India's benign rise with China's more assertive one and sought a larger role for India to stabilize the Indo-Pacific region.

India's vision for the Indo-Pacific was a "free, open, inclusive region, which embraces us all in a common pursuit of progress and prosperity".

"India does not see the Indo-Pacific region as a strategy or as a club of limited members", Modi said in a speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue forum in Singapore-a premier defence and strategic affairs forum supported by the government of Singapore.

The Indian leader's visit to Southeast Asia, which he described as the centre of a new era of cooperation in a region that spanned the coast of Africa to the U.S. West Coast, comes amid growing unease about China's growing naval assertiveness.

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On India's strategic partnership with Russian Federation and the United States, Modi said, "With each Southeast Asian country, we are growing political, economic and defence ties".

The orchid, located within the Singapore Botanic Gardens, was named Dendrobrium Narendra Modi to mark Prime Minister's visit.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now in Singapore as part of his three-nation visit, and it is his third day in the country today. "I firmly believe that Asia and the world will have a better future when India and China work together in trust and confidence".

Emphasising on the need for Asian countries to work together, PM Modi said, "Asia of rivalries will hold us back; Asia of cooperation will shape the century". We are the world's two most populous countries and among the fastest growing economies.

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"The prime minister is taking a personal interest in handling the negotiations of how to at this moment terminate this project, so that it can be revisited in the future", he said.

He further remarked, "Solutions can not be found behind walls of protection, but in embracing change".

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan, in a statement yesterday, said that Singapore has "requested the Malaysian government through diplomatic channels to clarify Malaysia's position on the project". PM Modi said every disruption should not be seen as destruction, as he underscored the importance of a technology driven society in bridging the social divide. India's global strategic partnership with the United States continues to deepen across the extraordinary breadth of our relationship.

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