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Economic, strategic focus shifts from West to East- India PM
November 22, 2013, 1:25 pm


Singh highlighted the “intense competition and rivalries in the security domain” in the globalised world [AP]

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in an address to the nation’s defence forces on Friday said there is an undeniable shift in economic and strategic focus of the world from the West to the East.

“If you survey the global strategic environment over the past decade, it would not escape your notice that, just as the economic pendulum is shifting inexorably from west to east, so is the strategic focus, as exemplified by the increasing contestation in the seas to our east and the related “pivot” or “rebalancing” by the US in this area,” Singh said.

The prime minister was addressing the Combined Commanders’ Conference ahead of the fifth anniversary of the 2009 Mumbai terror siege.

Singh said the United States pivot to Asia is “a development fraught with uncertainty”.

“We don’t yet know whether these economic and strategic transitions will be peaceful, but that is the challenge this audience must grapple with institutionally,” warned India’s leader.

Singh also highlighted the “intense competition and rivalries in the security domain” in the globalised world.

“Managing this contradictory tenor, which has been highlighted by the global surveillance operation mounted by the US National Security Agency, is also a policy imperative for us.

“Naturally, our objective must be to acquire tangible national capacity, or what the lexicon now refers to as comprehensive national power. This is the amalgam of economic, technological and industrial prowess, buttressed by the appropriate military sinews,” Singh urged the top commanders of India’s Army, Navy and Air Force.

A growing chorus of nations have angrily condemned Washington’s National Security Agency (NSA) overseas spying programme.

In September, India’s BRICS partner, Brazil responded firmly to revelations that it was a target of NSA spying. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff canceled a previously scheduled official state visit to the US and during the General Assembly two weeks ago accused Washington of being in breach of international law.

In July, US ally Germany also condemned NSA spying on its officials and senior ranking politicians.

Meanwhile, the Indian prime minister on Friday said Indian concerns on the volatility in West Asia and Delhi’s growing ties with Asia Pacific countries must reflect in its responses.

“The continuing turmoil in West Asia could not only imperil our energy security and the livelihood and safety of seven million Indians, but also become a crucible for radicalism, terrorism, arms proliferation and sectarian conflict that could touch our shores too,” he said.

“The Asia Pacific region, with which our relations are intensifying in every domain, is equally critical, not least because it is becoming the arena for shaping the behavior of major powers,” he added.

The BRICS Post

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