New Delhi: In a veiled message to China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday asserted that India’s “development cooperation does not come with any conditions. It is not influenced by political or commercial considerations”.

Highlighting how “India’s approach to development is mainly human-centric”, PM Modi said, “History has taught us that in the name of development partnerships, nations were forced into dependence partnerships. It gave rise to colonial and imperial rule. It also gave rise to global power blocks and humanity suffered.”

Chinese “debt trap” programmes have been impacting countries, especially small countries with projects at inflated prices.

PM Modi was speaking at an event along with Mauritius PM Pravind Kumar Jugnauth during the inauguration of the new Supreme Court building in Mauritius through video conference. The Mauritius Supreme Court Building has been built by India at the cost of $30 million under India’s grant assistance. The building is first India assisted infrastructure project within the capital city of Port Louis to be inaugurated after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Quoting Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy of “service of humanity”, PM Modi said, “India is making development partnerships that are marked by respect, diversity, care for the future, and sustainable development. For India, the most fundamental principle in development cooperation in respecting our partners. This sharing of development lessons is our only motivation.”

Giving examples of India’s infrastructure development and capacity building in the region, he pointed out how India helped build Parliament building in Afghanistan, Mahatma Gandhi Convention Centre in Niger, housing project and emergency ambulance services in Sri Lanka, drinking water and sanitation in thirty-four islands of the Maldives, emergency and trauma hospital in Nepal and “oil pipeline project we are doing with Nepal will help ensure the availability of petroleum products”.

He also elaborated on India’s cricket diplomacy in the region by making “cricket popular in countries as diverse as Afghanistan and Guyana by helping build stadiums and other facilities”. PM Modi also said, “We are excited to see the young Afghan cricket team trained in India emerge as a force to reckon with. We are now providing similar support to develop the talent of the Maldives cricket players.”

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