Jakarta [Indonesia], September 7 (ANI): Calling for joint efforts to strengthen the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the Code of Conduct for the South China Sea should be effective and in accordance with UNCLOS.
In his remarks at the East Asia Summit on Thursday, the Prime Minister said that peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region is in the interest of all and the positive agenda of QUAD complements with the various mechanisms of ASEAN.
There has been international concern over China's increasing military assertiveness in the South China Sea.
"India believes that the Code of Conduct for South China Sea should be effective and in accordance with UNCLOS. Additionally, it should take into consideration the interests of countries that are not directly involved in the discussions," the Prime Minister said.
"Peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, is in the interest of us all. The need of the hour is such that an Indo-Pacific - where international law, including UNCLOS, is equally applicable to all countries; where there is freedom of navigation and overflight; and where there is unimpeded lawful commerce for the benefit of everyone," he added.
China had in 2016 rejected the award of the Arbitral Tribunal constituted under the United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS) in relation to its differences with the Philippines.
The Prime Minister said India fully supports'ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific' and there is unison in the vision of India and ASEAN for the Indo-Pacific.
"This underscores the significance of the 'East Asia Summit' as a crucial platform for implementing the 'Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative'. ASEAN holds a central position in the vision of QUAD. The positive agenda of QUAD complements with the various mechanisms of ASEAN," he said.
PM Modi said the East Asia Summit is a very important platform and is the only leaders-led mechanism for dialogue and cooperation on strategic matters in the Indo-Pacific region.
"Additionally, it plays a pivotal role as the primary confidence-building mechanism in Asia. And the key to its success is ASEAN centrality," he said. The Prime Minister said the present global landscape is surrounded by challenging circumstances and uncertainties.
Noting that terrorism, extremism, and geopolitical conflicts are big challenge, he said multilateralism and rules-based international order are essential in countering them.
The Prime Minister also reiterated his"today's era is not of war" remarks.
"It is imperative to adhere fully to international laws; And everyone's commitment and joint efforts are also necessary to strengthen the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries. As I have said before - today's era is not of war. Dialogue and diplomacy is the only path to resolution," he said.
The Prime Minister said India's policy in Myanmar takes into account ASEAN's views.
"At the same time, as a neighbouring country, ensuring peace and security on the borders; And enhancing India-ASEAN connectivity is also our focus."The Prime Minister said that challenges pertaining to climate change, cyber security, food security, health, and energy are particularly impacting the Global South.
"During our G20 presidency, we are focusing on these important issues related to the Global South," he said. The Prime Minister reaffirmed India's commitment to the East Asia Summit process and assured support to Laos for its presidency.
During his"short but very productive visit to Jakarta, the Prime Minister participated in the 20th ASEAN-India Summit and 18th East Asia Summit. (ANI)