CM – Code of Conduct for the South China Sea should conform to the UN Convention: Center

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India stressed on Wednesday that the South China Sea Code of Conduct should be fully in line with the relevant UN Convention and that negotiations on it would not prejudice the legitimate rights and interests of nations not involved in the discussions should.

In a virtual address at an East Asia Summit (EAS) meeting, Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar also highlighted the increasing convergence of approaches in the Indo-Pacific region among the various members of the group.

Regardless Mr Jaishankar also spoke at an ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers meeting where he addressed a number of issues including connectivity and said India is looking forward to an early review of the « Trade Agreement on Goods ».

« Highlighted that the South China Sea Code of Conduct should be fully consistent with UNCLOS 1982. It should not interfere with the legitimate rights and interests of nations that are not involved in discussions, « tweeted Mr Jaishankar about his meeting with the foreign ministers of EAS member countries.

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.

India advocates a rule-based order in the region, including compliance with international law, in particular UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea).

In his address at the EAS meeting, Mr. Jaishankar also supported the « ASEAN Five Point » consensus on Myanmar and welcomed the appointment of a special envoy.

The Foreign Minister also spoke about the growing challenge of COVID-19, standing in front of ASEAN, conveying India’s support and solidarity.

“The broader context in which we approach our relationship today, as well as everything else that matters, is undeniably that of the COVID-19 crisis. We saw how ASEAN members responded individually and collectively in a targeted manner, « he said.

 » These challenges also brought ASEAN and India closer, as we gave each other practical support during these stressful times. We can discuss that later, « added Mr Jaishankar.

He said ASEAN is seen worldwide as a good example of successful regionalism, multilateralism and globalization.

 » This year’s theme,  » We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper  » under the competent chairmanship of Brunei succinctly sums up the prospects of ASEAN. I am confident that this topic also applies to our partnership, « said Jaishankar.

He said that the fact that ASEAN-led Initiatives have meaning in so many areas, speak for themselves.

« India is committed to supporting a strong, united and prosperous ASEAN, the centrality of which is fully appreciated in the Indo-Pacific, » he said / p> « The strong convergence between the ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and the India-proposed Initiative for the Indo-Pacific Ocean (IPOI) adds another dimension to our current partnership », added Mr. Jaishankar.

“Taken together, these are factors that can help us achieve a vision of a more ‘connected’ India and ASEAN. This, of course, requires the implementation of a number of committed initiatives, which of course form the core of our common agenda. « Said the Foreign Minister.

In a series of tweets, he said that many of India’s interests and relationships are now in the east, which is a testament to its ties to ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations).

The Foreign minister also emphasized the acceleration of connectivity projects, speaking in particular about the trilateral highway and Kaladan projects.

Regarding the coronavirus pandemic, he said India and ASEAN are « strong partners in the Covid response: drugs or oxygen, equipment or Logistics ”.

Mr. Jaishankar also proposed 2022 as the year of friendship between ASEAN and India, marking the 30th anniversary of relations between the two sides.

ASEAN is considered one of the most influential groups in the region, and India and several other countries, including the US, China, Japan and Australia, are their dialogue partners.

Relations between India and ASEAN have seen a boom in recent years, with the Emphasis was placed on increasing cooperation in the areas of trade and investment, and security and defense.

EAS is the Asia-Pacific region’s premier forum for addressing security and defense issues. Since its inception in 2005, it has played a significant role in the strategic, geopolitical and economic development of East Asia.

In addition to the 10 ASEAN member states, EAS includes India, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Russia.

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