Indian foreign minister: India concerned over South China Sea situation Some actions, incidents erode regional trust

India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, participating in the ASEAN series of summits on November 14, expressed his country’s concern over actions and incidents in the South China Sea region that erode trust. He pointed out that the proposed Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC) should not affect the legitimate interests of third parties.

According to Hindustan Times news, Sojourn outlined India’s position on the South China Sea while representing India at the summit on the same day. Under the watchful eyes of participating Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, Sujensen noted that all parties must abide by international law, respect territorial and sovereign integrity and promote a rules-based global order. Without naming China, he expressed concern over actions and incidents in the South China Sea that “undermine trust” and pointed out that ongoing negotiations on the proposed Code of Conduct in the South China Sea “should not undermine the legitimate interests of third parties and should be fully consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) “The Code of Conduct in the South China Sea”.

Earlier, Li once again expressed China’s commitment to an early conclusion of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea during the China-ASEAN summit on Thursday. In another statement on the same day, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the summit’s chair-in-office, discussed ways to strengthen the platform and make it more responsive to emerging challenges. For his part, Su Jieh Sang reiterated the importance of the summit as a leader-led forum to exchange views on strategic issues. He also stressed the need for enhanced global cooperation in a post-New Crown epidemic world to address challenges that transcend national boundaries such as terrorism, climate change and viral pandemics.

Mr. Surgeon said that there is growing interest in the Indo-Pacific region as an “integrated organic maritime space centred on ASEAN”. He pointed to the synergy between ASEAN’s Indo-Pacific vision and India’s Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative, and said, “Harmonisation of perspectives will never be a challenge if there is a commitment to international cooperation.” The summit is said to have adopted the Hanoi Declaration and leaders’ statements on ocean sustainability, epidemic prevention and response to women, peace and security, and stable economic growth in the region.