India’s Neighbourhood First Policy
- Prime Minister of India first visit abroad is to Maldives and Srilanka proves the New Delhi’s “Neighbourhood First Policy”.
- Foreign Minister wraps up his first visit to Bhutan to strengthening neighbourhood relation.
Agreements with Maldives and Srilanka
- A series of agreements expected to Maldives are:
1. Implementation of $800 million Line of credit to Maldives.
2. Cricket Stadium, Water purification, sewerage system.
3. Coastal Surveillance radar System
4. Composite training centre for Maldives National Defence Force.
- Main aims to send a three pronged message to Maldives are:
1. To continue high-level contacts between close neighbours
2. To assist as development partners.
3. To strengthen people-to people ties.
- His commitment to continue bilateral cooperation on joint development projects with Srilanka agreed to in 2017.
- He will be the first international leader to visit Colombo since the attacks, and his visit sends a powerful message as Sri Lanka tries to recover from the trauma.
- Today’s Government are in contrast to the comparatively trickier relationship with the previous governments in Male and Colombo during first tenure.
Chinese relation with Maldives and Srilanka
- China’s inroads into the region had formed a common thread straining ties with both countries.
- India protested when the Yameen government signed a free trade agreement with Beijing, and granted China land for development.
- Mr. Rajapaksa granted to Chinese companies under heavy Chinese loans.
- Deeper concerns arose from the Chinese naval presence in both Male and Colombo.
Present Governments with New message
- The situation has turned in which Governments in both countries have changed.
- Besides a charm offensive, India has chosen to mute its opposition to their continued cooperation with China on the Belt and Road Initiative.
- A realisation in Delhi that at a time when factors such as the U.S.-China trade tussles and tensions in West Asia pose uncertainties, strong neighbourhood ties can provide much comfort.
Point to remember
Point to refer