In a recent update regarding India and China relations, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the Code of Conduct negotiations will lead to positive outcomes. This comes after tensions escalate in the waters.
Defence Minister Asserts India’s Freedom over South China Sea
As per the latest reports, Singh had asserted that India supports freedom of navigation, over flight and unimpeded commerce in these international waterways. He was referring to the territorial tensions in the South China sea in the past couple of weeks.
China recently laid claims to nearly the entirety of the South China sea. Meanwhile, other countries also have claimed their parts of the region that has led to a territorial dispute in the region. China’s sweeping claims of sovereignty over the sea have antagonized competing claimants Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
Earlier this month, Malaysia scrambled jets to intercept Chinese aircraft it accused of breaching its airspace.
The persistent presence of Chinese vessels in its economic zone, Philippines has protested. Seeing threats from China, Vietnam expanded its maritime forces and Indonesia decided to bolster its Navy.
Rajnath Singh Addresses 8th Meeting of the Defense Ministers of ASEAN
While addressing the 8th meeting of the defense ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Singh said that India supports a free, open and inclusive order in the Indo-Pacific. It should be based upon the respect for sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the nations. Along with the peaceful resolution of dispute through dialogue and adherence to international rules and laws.
The ministers gathered online for a meeting hosted by Brunei, this year’s ASEAN chair. Singh said that over the years, India has strengthened its cooperative engagements in the Indo-Pacific based on visions and values for promotion of peace, stability, and prosperity in the region.