NEW DELHI, May 19 (PTI): Amid the India-China standoff in eastern Ladakh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said India is fully prepared and committed to protecting its sovereignty and dignity, and emphasised that peace and tranquility on the border are essential for normal bilateral ties among the neighbours.
In an interview with Japanese publication Nikkei Asia, Modi said, “the future development of the India-China relationship can only be based on mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutual interests”, and noted that “normalising” the ties would benefit the wider region and the world.
He stressed on his country’s respect for sovereignty, the rule of law and the peaceful resolution of disputes.
India-China ties have been fraught since the Galwan clashes in 2020. Both sides have been periodically holding meetings to defuse the crisis at the border but a lasting solution has eluded them so far.
On Pakistan, the publication quoted him as saying that India wants “normal and neighborly relations.”
“However, it is incumbent upon them to create a conducive environment free from terrorism and hostilities. The onus is on Pakistan to take necessary steps in this regard,” he said.
Speaking about the Indian economy, he noted that it has been one of the world’s fastest-growing.
“Our progress is evident, as we have risen from being the tenth largest economy in 2014 to now being the fifth largest globally… While it is true that global headwinds pose challenges to growth, we have built a strong foundation in recent years, which positions us favorably,” he said.
On the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Modi said India’s position on the matter “is clear and unwavering.”
“India stands on the side of peace and will remain firmly there. We are committed to supporting those who face challenges in meeting their basic needs, especially in the face of rising costs of food, fuel, and fertilizers. We maintain communication with both Russia and Ukraine,” Modi said.
“Cooperation and collaboration should define our times, not conflict,” he told Nikkei Asia.
The Prime Minister is on a three-nation trip to Japan, Papua New Guinea and Australia.
Earlier, Modi arrived in the Japanese city of Hiroshima to attend the annual summit of the G7 grouping and the third in-person Quad leaders’ meeting.