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Aware Of China Funding Infrastructure Projects In South Asian Countries: Govt In Rajya Sabha

New Delhi: The government is aware of China funding infrastructure projects, including ports, highways and airports in countries in South Asia, Minister of State for External Affairs B Muraleedharan said in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

“The government is aware that China is engaging in funding of infrastructure projects in countries in South Asia, including in ports, highways, railways and airports,” news agency PTI quoted Muraleedharan as saying.

Replying to a question in the Rajya Sabha, the minister said the country is committed to developing friendly and mutually beneficial ties with all its neighbours under ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. However, the government of India keeps a close watch on the developments having an impact on the country’s security and takes all necessary steps to protect it.

Muraleedharan said India is an active economic partner of its neighbours and the country is involved in a large number of development projects in these nations.

“India also has extensive ties with its neighbours in diverse fields including defence and security cooperation, trade and investment, education, culture and people-to-people exchanges,” the minister said.

Responding to a separate question, he said that there have been instances of attacks on Indian nationals and persons of Indian origins (PIOs) in the US, UK and Canada, in the last few years some of which appeared to be racially motivated.

“According to media reports and inputs, there have been instances of attacks on Indian nationals and PIOs in the USA, UK and Canada in the last few years. Some of these attacks appear to be racially motivated,” the minister said.

Reasserting that the safety and well-being of Indian nationals in foreign countries is the top priority of the government, Muraleedharan said, “Indian missions/consulates in USA, UK and Canada are constantly engaged with the local governments and the Indian community, including on measures to ensure their safety and well-being.”