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East Asia Summit: India talks about the need to respect territorial integrity and sovereignty | India News


NEW DELHI: In an indirect message to China, India on Saturday expressed concern about “actions and incidents” that “erode” trust in the South China Sea and stressed the importance of adhering to international law, respecting territorial integrity and the sovereignty.
In a speech at the 15th East Asia Summit (EAS), Foreign Minister S Jaishankar also spoke about the Indo-Pacific and noted the growing interest in the region as an integrated and organic maritime space with the ASEAN of 10 nations at its center.
The Foreign Minister, referring to the recent announcement of policies by several countries for the Indo-Pacific region, said that harmonizing diverse perspectives will never be a challenge if there is a commitment to international cooperation.
The summit, held in virtual format, was chaired by the Prime Minister of Vietnam, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, in his capacity as President of ASEAN, and was attended by all EAS member nations. India is generally represented at the summit by the prime minister.

In his speech, Jaishankar also underscored the need for greater international cooperation in the post-Covid world to address challenges that cross national borders such as terrorism, climate change and pandemics, the Foreign Ministry (MEA) said.
The East Asia Summit is a premier forum in the Asia-Pacific region that addresses security and defense issues. Since its inception in 2005, it has played an important role in the strategic, geopolitical and economic evolution of East Asia.
In addition to the 10 member states of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), the East Asia Summit includes India, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Russia.
The MEA said Jaishankar reaffirmed the importance of the EAS as the leader-led forum for exchanging views on strategic issues and spoke of the “importance of adhering to international law, respecting territorial integrity and sovereignty, and promoting a global order. rules-based. “.
His comments on the need to respect territorial integrity and sovereignty came amid the bitter border dispute between India and China in eastern Ladakh and Beijing’s growing expansionary behavior in the South China Sea and the Indo-Pacific.
“In the South China Sea, the foreign minister expressed concern about actions and incidents that erode confidence in the region,” the Foreign Ministry said.
China claims sovereignty over the entire South China Sea, a huge source of hydrocarbons. However, several ASEAN member countries, including Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei, have counterclaims.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, China has significantly increased military offensives in the South China Sea in recent months, prompting global concerns.
India has been advocating for promoting a rules-based order in the region, including through upholding adherence to international law, especially UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea).
“He said that the Code of Conduct negotiations should not be detrimental to the legitimate interests of third parties and should be fully consistent with UNCLOS,” the MEA said in a statement.
On the Indo-Pacific, he said: “The Foreign Minister noted the growing interest in the Indo-Pacific as an integrated and organic maritime space, with ASEAN at its center. He appreciated the synergy between the ASEAN Outlook and the Indo-Pacific. -Indian Pacific Oceans Initiative “.
He said India was equally positive about the Indo-Pacific policies recently announced by other nations.
At the East Asia Summit in Bangkok last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed the establishment of the Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative (IPOI) to conserve and sustainably use the maritime domain and make significant efforts to create a maritime domain. safe and secure.
The concept is gaining ground and Japan already agrees to be the leading partner in the connectivity pillar of the IPOI.
Referring to Covid-19, Jaishankar briefed EAS leaders on India’s response to the pandemic and highlighted India’s efforts to support the international community. He reiterated Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment to help make the Covid-19 vaccine accessible and affordable for all nations.
The MEA said the leaders underscored the importance of cooperation to ensure safe, effective and affordable access to Covid-19 vaccines.
“They called for greater cooperation to keep global supply chains open for rapid and sustainable economic recovery. Regional and international issues such as the South China Sea, the situation on the Korean Peninsula and Rakhine State were also discussed,” he said. .
The summit issued a statement and also adopted four statements on marine sustainability; prevention and response to epidemics; women, peace and security; and steady growth of the regional economy, said the MEA.

Times of India