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South China Sea: India openly backs Vietnam & others against China


  • The foreign minister V.K. Singh warned that “in a world of inter-dependence and globalization, there is no option but to follow international laws and norms”. at fifth East Asia Summit.
  • India supported the “freedom of navigation in international waters, including the South China Sea, the right of passage and overflight, unimpeded commerce and access to resources in accordance with principles of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)”.
  • “India hopes that all parties to the disputes in the South China Sea will abide by the guidelines on the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. We further support efforts for the early adoption of a Code of Conduct on the South China Sea on the basis of consensus,” he added.
  • South-East Asian nations were squabbling over a joint statement to be issued on tensions in the South China Sea, with China’s allies opposing strong criticism of its land-reclamation activities.
  • India’s position is not new but assumes importance given that some Asian members, such as the Philippines, have been calling on it to make its presence felt within the region against the backdrop of an assertive China.
  • Philippines foreign secretary Evan Garcia urged India to play a more prominent role in Asia as he warned of attempts being made by powers in the region to keep India out of discussions relating to the security architecture in South-East Asia and the Asia-Pacific.
  • Singh described the Asia-Pacific region and its oceans as “a critical enabler of our prosperity and of our growing interdependence” while pointing to other threats to freedom of navigation.

Source: DefenceNews

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