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People to people engagement will help India in giving a foothold in the Pacific Island Countries

India needs to increase its engagement with the Pacific Island Countries, a region which is increasingly falling prey to China’s toxic influence.

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India needs to increase its engagement with the Pacific Island Countries, a region which is increasingly falling prey to China’s toxic influence. For this, India needs to look beyond the “Indo-Fijian” population, even while keeping an eye on the radicalisation of the Muslim section of that population, which is increasing its links with Pakistan. This was mentioned by Cleo Paskal, an Associate Fellow at Chatham House, London at a roundtable on “Strategic Shifts in the Pacific Islands: How they may impact India’s outreach in South Pacific”.

According to her, people to people engagement will help India in giving a foothold in the region, which is being blockaded increasingly by China. In this, the United States will stand with India. China, which is coming into the region with the offer to rebuild islands, could next come into the Bay of Bengal too to build artificial islands. The roundtable was organised by the think-tank Global Counter-Terrorism Council in the memory of Major General Raj Krishan Malhotra and was attended by retired defence personnel and diplomats.


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