Jaishankar Highlights India’s Growth at Raisina Roundtable in Tokyo

Agreeing that the most universal expression of the global order is still the United Nations, Dr Jaishankar said that its reform is of paramount importance, and India and Japan seek to make the UN structures more contemporary…reports Asian Lite News

 External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said on Thursday that it is important for Japan to recognise that India is a very different country today and appreciate the pace of change in the South Asian nation.

Speaking at the first Raisina Roundtable in Tokyo, a key step towards enhancing track 2 exchanges between the two countries, the minister said that the transformation of India makes it a more effective and credible partner.

“I think it’s important that Japan today appreciates the pace of change in India. This is a country today which is building 28 kilometers of highway every day, which is creating eight new airports every year, which is establishing one-and-a-half to two metros every year…”

He further said that in the last 10 years, India has built two new colleges every day and has doubled its technical and medical institutions and that “this transformation of India makes us a more effective and credible partner”.

“Whether it is the ease of doing business, infrastructure development, ease of living, digital delivery, startup, and innovation culture… India is clearly a very different country today. This is important for the Japanese to recognise,” the minister said, adding that India is increasingly turning to like-minded partners who gather together for a particular purpose.

Agreeing that the most universal expression of the global order is still the United Nations, Dr Jaishankar said that its reform is of paramount importance, and India and Japan seek to make the UN structures more contemporary.

“This is clearly an uphill task but one in which we must persevere as two powers that are so central to multipolarity in Asia. It is also in our common interest that the overall balance remains in favour of freedom, openness, transparency, and a rules-based order,” the minister said.

Stating that the world is now more volatile, uncertain, unpredictable, and open-ended, Jaishankar said that it is a “prospect that India and Japan have to confront, both from the National perspectives as well as from the point of view of their own relationship”.

The minister also called for Japanese cooperation concerning the development assistance in the Global South.

He added that as a leading voice of the Global South, and being “particularly conscious of this responsibility”, India’s development efforts today span 78 nations across different continents.

The first Raisina Roundtable@Tokyo, which came just after the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi last month, focused on how India and Japan, who enjoy a special strategic and global Partnership, intend to meet the challenges facing the global order.

Jaishankar is on a three-day visit to Japan from March 6-8 for the 16th India-Japan Foreign Ministers Strategic Dialogue with Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa.

The two ministers are expected to discuss issues of bilateral, regional and global importance, and exchange views on cooperation for a free, open, inclusive, peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific.

India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership has further deepened in the last decade in areas such as defence and digital technologies, semiconductor supply chains, clean energy, high speed rail, industrial competitiveness and connectivity.

Jaishankar Calls for Adherence to Border Management Pacts

Noting the reality of power shifts in the Indo-Pacific, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday referred to China and said that it is a cause for concern when a country does not observe written agreements with a neighbour.

Participating in the first Raisina Roundtable in Tokyo, Jaishankar said there are political and strategic consequences of “very big shifts” in capabilities, influence, and ambitions of nations in the Indo-Pacific and one has to “deal with that reality”.

Illustrating New Delhi’s own situation vis-a-vis China, he said for nearly 45 years, there was no bloodshed on the India-China border but things changed in 2020.

And today… we can disagree on many things, but when a country, sort of, does not observe written agreements with a neighbour, then I think you have cause for concern, because it then raises a question mark about the stability of the relationship, and frankly, about intentions,” EAM Jaishankar said in response to a question.

He acknowledged that with shifting global dynamics, India’s balance with other countries is changing as well and the challenge lies in creating “new equilibriums in a less frictional manner”.

At a recent interactive session at a think-tank in New Delhi, Jaishankar said the government is focused on strengthening the border infrastructure and that there has to be an “equilibrium” in Sino-India relations.

The minister also stressed on China adhering to border management pacts and maintaining peace along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to ensure smooth ties.

The minister’s remarks came weeks after the 21st round of the India-China Corps Commander Level Meeting, seeking complete disengagement in the remaining areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh as an essential basis for the restoration of peace and tranquillity in the border areas.

The two sides agreed to maintain communication through relevant military and diplomatic mechanisms and also committed to peace and tranquility on the ground in the border areas, according to a Ministry of External Affairs release.

A border standoff erupted between the two Asian giants on May 5, 2020, after a violent clash in the Pangong lake area with relations reaching a low point.

The two sides completed the disengagement process from several areas in 2021 after extensive diplomatic and military talks.

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