In boost to East Asia policy, Modi to tour China, Mongolia, S Korea

  • Shishir Gupta and Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 28, 2015 01:10 IST

After his foray into the US, Australia, Europe and Indian Ocean countries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set his sights on the strategically-important East Asia region, dominated by China, which is also a geopolitical rival to India.

Modi will undertake a three-nation tour of China, Mongolia and South Korea from May 14 to 19. According to officials, the visit is aimed at giving a boost to the East Asia policy, aligning it with Make in India initiatives and bringing momentum to the country’s foreign policy in the strategically significant region.

In Beijing, where Modi is set to arrive to a rousing welcome, the focus will be on boundary issues. Both countries have an unsettled boundary of 3,488 km that often acts as an irritant to the ties.

The thrust will be on resolving the boundary question at an early date, rather than sticking to the familiar template of maintaining peace and tranquility along the border as the sole task, officials told HT.

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which is seen as a counter to the US, Japan dominated Asian Development Bank, is likely to announce funding for infrastructure projects in India during the visit of PM Modi. He had played a leading role in India becoming a founding member of the bank.

“The bank will bring investment into the region while maintaining supplementary relationships with existing multilateral development banks,” said an official.

His visit to South Korea has a definite Make in India angle to it. India is keen on getting investment and going for joint manufacturing in areas where South Korea has a technological edge.

In the manufacturing sector, South Korean companies including Samsung, LG and Hyundai that have strong presence in India. “Infrastructure is another area, where South Korea is keen to invest,” said a source.

Mongolia and India are keen to move forward on the MoU for Uranium supply that the two countries had entered in 2009. Mongolia is keen on Indian helping the country in cyber security. Help in border patrolling is another area where the two countries will be stepping up the ties.

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