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International relations

Modi eyes fiercer rivalry with China over neighbors in second term

India to be tested in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh while ignoring Pakistan

Chinese President Xi Jinping,right, speaks to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a visit to a Buddhist Temple in Xian, Shaanxi province. India and China are fighting for influence in an area that India regards as its backyard.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is preparing for a fiercer tug of war with China over neighboring nations as his second term kicked off on Thursday. Whether India will strengthen its influence in the region will become clearer in countries such as Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, while it may distance itself further from Pakistan.

Setting the tone for his regional foreign policy will be the Maldives, where Modi visits on June 7 to 8 as his first international stop.

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