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In message to China, Modi calls for a fair code in the South China Sea | India News


NEW DELHI: China’s shadow loomed over the virtual India-Vietnam summit on Monday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasizing to his counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc that negotiations for a Code of Conduct (CoC) in the waters of the South China Sea (SCS) in dispute should not undermine the interests of other countries or third parties in the region while praising Hanoi as a pillar of India Act East policy.
At the summit, the two countries signed seven agreements in areas as diverse as defense, petrochemicals and renewable energy and nuclear, highlighting a framework agreement for cooperation between defense industries. The deal is expected to help Vietnam use two defense lines of credit previously announced by India, $ 500 million and $ 100 million, for the Asean country.
Modi’s reiteration of India’s position on the CoC is significant, as both India and the United States fear that China may influence ASEAN countries to agree to a deal that ignores the rights of third countries that are not party to the the South China Sea disputes. Beijing has so far seemed reluctant to incorporate or recognize these rights in the CoC.

India and Vietnam announced the implementation of the High Speed ​​Guard Boat (HSGB) manufacturing project for the Vietnam Border Guard Command under the $ 100 million credit line with India delivering a complete vessel. Seven more HSGBs will be manufactured in Vietnam. As defense remains the central pillar of India’s comprehensive strategic partnership with Vietnam, both leaders also agreed to further institutionalize such exchanges through mutual logistical support, regular visits to ships, joint exercises, exchanges in science and technology. military, information exchange and also cooperation in the UN. peace-keeping.
Unsurprisingly, in light of the growing Chinese expansionism that has affected both India and Vietnam, the two countries discussed the security situation in the SCS in detail with both leaders reaffirming the importance of maintaining peace, stability, security and freedom of navigation and overflight in the region. In a joint vision document, they also underlined the importance of seeking a peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, in particular the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), without resorting to threat or to the use of force.
“Both leaders underscored the importance of non-militarization and self-control in the conduct of all activities by the claimants and all other states, and avoiding actions that could further complicate the situation or escalate disputes that affect peace and stability, “the document says.
Modi reiterated that Vietnam was an important pillar of India’s Indo-Pacific vision. “Both leaders agreed to explore practical cooperation based on convergences between our Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) and the Asean Indo-Pacific Outlook (AOIP) to which Vietnam subscribes,” said the MEA secretary (East ) Riva Ganguly Das.
It is important for India, as countries prepare to take office as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council, Vietnam resolved to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including cross-border terrorism, terrorist financing networks and safe havens, and said it would be put into action through greater coordination in bilateral, regional and global efforts. While Vietnam encourages India to invest more in its oil and gas sector, another contentious area with China given the SCS disputes, the focus on renewables is something new in bilateral relations.
There was a discussion in the context of both India and Vietnam serving simultaneously as non-permanent members of the UN Security Council, Das said.
“Both prime ministers agreed that India and Vietnam should work closely together to actively promote ‘reformed multilateralism’ to make international organizations, including the UN Security Council, more representative, contemporary and capable of dealing with the challenges. current challenges. Vietnam reiterated its strong support for membership in an expanded UNSC, “he added.

Times of India