April 18, 2021
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Shared prosperity
Modi’s Bhutan visit and its impact for South Asian region Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first foreign visit to Bhutan is a great indication that the tiny neighborhood of India will enjoy high priority under Modi’s leadership in the coming years, which was somehow neglected under the UPA rule in the past. Narendra Modi has demonstrated that firming up troubled or neglected relationships will be a major priority of his regime, a point he has already emphasized by inviting the heads of all SAARC countries and Mauritius to his oath-taking ceremony which is first of its kind. With such decisions, Modi is somewhere trying to utilize the soft power diplomacy to give assurance to its neighbors about full Indian support at all level in critical times while sending an indirect message to the major regional powers of India’s intentions. China, which has no diplomatic ties with Bhutan, was keenly observing the outcome of Modi’s Bhutan visit. Over all, from a geo-strategic perspective, the Indian Prime Minister’s visit is a soft counter to China’s ambitions to enhance its engagement with Bhutan for a full diplomatic status. In the past, under UPA ‘misrule’, India was facing trouble with the slowing economy and it was also adversely affecting the strategic-economic relations of India with its neighboring countries. The lack of influential and strong foreign policy was also a major hurdle in cooperatin
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