Wed, December 08, 2021


India, ASEAN countries call for peace and stability in South China Sea

In the backdrop of China’s aggressive behaviour on maritime issues, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and ten ASEAN countries today affirmed the importance of maintaining and promoting peace, stability, safety and security in the South China Sea, and ensuring freedom of navigation and overflight.

”Both sides noted the importance of promoting a rules-based order in the region including through upholding adherence to international law, especially the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),” said an official statement issued at the end of the 18th India-ASEAN Summit held virtually.

The discussions between the two sides covered all regional and international issues of common interest and concern, including terrorism. The two sides announced their decision to celebrate 2022 as ”India-ASEAN Friendship Year” to commemorate the 30th anniversary of their partnership.

Prime Minister Modi and the ASEAN leaders welcomed the adoption of the India-ASEAN joint statement on cooperation for peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

The leaders exchanged views on enhancing India-ASEAN connectivity in broadest terms including physical, digital and people to people. To further strengthen India-ASEAN cultural connectivity, Modi announced India’s support for establishing the ASEAN Cultural Heritage List. On trade and investment, he underlined the importance of diversification and resilience of supply chains for post-COVID economic recovery and in this regard, the need to revamp the India-ASEAN FTA.

The ASEAN leaders appreciated India’s role as a trusted partner in the region especially during the current Covid-19 pandemic with its supply of vaccines. They also welcomed India’s support to ASEAN centrality in the Indo-Pacific and looked forward to greater India-ASEAN cooperation in the region.

Published : October 29, 2021

By : The Statesman