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‘India’s growing weight will ensure overall global balance remains in favour of freedom, openness’

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NEW DELHI, May 24: India’s growing weight will ensure that the overall balance in the world order remains in favour of freedom, openness, transparency and a rules-based order, external affairs minister S Jaishankar said on Friday.

In a virtual address at the Nikkei Asia Future of Asia Forum, he said the challenge of supply chain and the use of economic coercion by states have put a premium on resilience, in comments that came amid China’s attempt to become an economic hegemon.

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Jaishankar said the world is undergoing a flux, driven by geopolitical, geo-economic and geo-technological developments and that the global order today is visibly under stress, with Asia and the Indo-Pacific very much part of this transformation.

“But it is not just change we are seeing; there is also much greater risk-taking. It is visible in the conflict in Ukraine, in violence in the Middle East and the disregard for international law and agreements in Asia and the Indo-Pacific,” he said.

This has economic facets, perhaps even more concerning. The supply chain challenge, over-concentrations stemming from globalization and the use of economic coercion by states have put a premium on resilience and redundancy,” he said.

The minister said equally important is the technology challenge that has created a new level of inter-penetration and interdependence. “As a result, the era of AI, EVs (electric vehicles), green and clean technologies have brought both hope and anxiety in equal measure.

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“As both market shares and data harnessing are leveraged, national security has become crucial to many economic transactions,” he said.

Jaishankar said the transformation of India is critical to strengthening multipolarity in Asia itself, which is a prerequisite for a multipolar world.

“India’s growing weight will ensure that the overall balance in the world order remains in favour of freedom, openness, transparency and a rules-based order,” he said.

“Equally, its greater sense of responsibility and more contributions are also making a difference. Indian naval ships are currently operating in the Red Sea to protect maritime shipping,” he noted.

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“India has been a First Responder for natural disasters across the Indian Ocean, sometimes even beyond. Its initiatives ranging from solar energy to disaster resilience and bio-diversity have been recognised across the world,” he said. (PTI)

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