Modi's Indian Ocean trip: Cotton Route to counter China's Silk Route?

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Has Prime Minister Narendra Modi undertaken the Cotton Route to deal with China's Silk Route?

The Indian prime minister's visit to the three countries located in the Indian Ocean region, namely, Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka, is a pointer to the fact.

Modi's strategy to counter China

Modi began his trip to Indian Ocean by visiting Seychelles where he stressed co-operation between the countries located in the Indian Ocean region. He is expected to convey the same to the heads of government of Mauritius and Sri Lanka.

The prime minister has said that India is ready to extend military aid to the friendly countries of the Indian Ocean region and already a number of defence cooperation pacts have been signed with Seychelles.

International summit on Indian Ocean soon after Modi's trip

An international summit titled on India and Indian Ocean is scheduled to be held in Bhubaneswar after PM Modi's visit concludes and eight ministries apart from the foreign ministry will be attending the summit.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and other dignitaries will attend the occasion where representatives of members of the Indian Ocean Rim Association will also be present.

India will look to increase influence in Malacca Straits to counter the Chinese

The summit following Modi's visit to the three nations in the Indian Ocean has a big strategic significance vis-a-vis China, which has increased its presence in the Indian Ocean region over the years.

Beijing has increased its presence in ports near Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan and its submarines have also been spotted near Sri Lanka. New Delhi suspects that the presence of the Chinese in these ports is not only for commercial but also for military purposes. New Delhi is now looking to counter the Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean region by reviving the Cotton Route through which India maintained marital relation with the countries of East and West Asia.

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