Modi’s Balancing Act in a Multipolar World

Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not disappoint the vast gathering of defence ministers, strategic thinkers and the world media assembled in Singapore for the 17th Shangri La dialogue. Almost everyone expected a blueprint for the future of Indo-Pacific region from the Indian Prime Minister and that’s exactly what he did in the 35-minute keynote address to the prestigious conference. The speech was vast in its scope, vision and philosophy rooted as it was in India’s civilizational heritage.

He advocated a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific—that vast expanse stretching from the east coast of Africa to Western Pacific—based on rules and norms. “We will promote a democratic and rules-based international order, in which all nations, small and large, thrive as equal and sovereign. We will work with others to keep our seas, space and airways free and open; our nations secure from terrorism; and our cyberspace free from disruption and conflict. We will keep our economy open and our engagement transparent. We will share our resources, markets and prosperity with our friends and partners. We will seek a sustainable future for our planet, as through the new International Solar Alliance together with France and other partners. This is how we wish ourselves and our partners to proceed in this vast region and beyond. The ancient wisdom of the region is our common heritage,” he said in conclusion of his address.