Jakarta [Indonesia], September 7 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his address at the 18th East Asia Summit and 20th ASEAN-India Summit laid emphasis on joint efforts towards strengthening sovereignty and territorial integrity.
In an apparent reference to Chinese aggressiveness in the Indo-Pacific region, he said that peace, security, and prosperity in the region is in the interest of all.
The Prime Minister reiterated India's strong support for ASEAN centrality and its outlook on the Indo-Pacific, acknowledging ASEAN as a prominent pillar of India's Act East Policy.
During his address at the 18th East Asia Summit on further strengthening of ASEAN-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and presented a 12-point proposal for strengthening cooperation covering connectivity, digital transformation, trade and economic engagement.
PM Modi urged the summit to establish multi-modal connectivity and economic corridor that links South-East Asia-India-West Asia-Europe and Offered to share India's Digital Public Infrastructure Stack with ASEAN partners, according to the release from the Prime Minister's office.
In the 12-pointers, PM Modi called for working together on Mission LiFE (LiFEStyle For Environment) and invited ASEAN countries to join the Global Centre for Traditional Medicine being established by WHO in India.
He also recognised the need for actions in disaster management and called for enhanced cooperation on maritime safety, security and domain awareness. He reiterated his call for a collective fight against terrorism, terror financing and cyber-disinformation.
Prime Minister stressed establishing multi-modal connectivity and economic corridor that links South-East Asia-India-West Asia-Europe. He also offered to share India's Digital Public Infrastructure Stack with ASEAN partners.
PM Modi announced the ASEAN-India fund for Digital Future focusing on cooperation in digital transformation and financial connectivity, and announced the renewal of support to the Economic and Research Institute of ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) to act as a knowledge partner for enhancing our engagement.
He further called for collectively raising issues being faced by Global South in multilateral fora and invited ASEAN countries to join the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure.
PM Modi, during his address also called for cooperation in disaster management, and enhanced cooperation on maritime safety, security and domain awareness.
At the 18th East Asia Summit, the Prime Minister reiterated the importance of the EAS mechanism and reaffirmed our support for further strengthening it. Prime Minister underlined India's support for ASEAN centrality and called for ensuring a free, open and rules-based Indo-Pacific.
Prime Minister highlighted synergies of visions for Indo-Pacific between India and ASEAN and underscored that ASEAN is the focal point of Quad's vision.
The Prime Minister also called for a cooperative approach to address global challenges including terrorism, climate change and resilient supply chains for essential items including food and medicines, and for energy security. He highlighted India's steps in the area of climate change and our initiatives such as ISA, CDRI, LiFE and OSOWOG.
On the other hand, PM Modi also called on called for joint efforts to strengthen the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries and said that the Code of Conduct for the South China Sea should be effective and in accordance with UNCLOS.
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. Beijing 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.
"India believes that the Code of Conduct for the 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.
He added,"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 isunimpeded lawful commerce for the benefit of everyone".
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.
Speaking on the situation in Myanmar, PM Modi said that India's policy 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. Peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, is in the interest of us all," he stated.
He further added that multilateralism and rules-based international order are essential to counter the challenging circumstances, uncertainties, and challenges like terrorism, extremism, and geopolitical conflicts.
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.
Prime Minister Modi also addressed the 20th ASEAN-India Summit on Thursday. In his opening remarks, he offered heartfelt congratulations to Prime Minister Hun Manet of Cambodia, who recently assumed office, and welcomed Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao of Timor-Leste as an observer in the meeting.
PM Modi said,"Our partnership is entering its fourth decade. In this regard, co-chairing the India-ASEAN Summit brings me great pleasure. For the splendid organization of this summit, I heartily congratulate and express my gratitude to President Wido7693;o. I also extend my congratulations to the capable leadership of the ASEAN group. I offer my heartfelt congratulations to Prime Minister His Excellency Hun Manet of Cambodia for recently assuming office. I also welcome Prime Minister His Excellency Xanana Gusmao of Timor-Leste as an Observer in this meeting".
Highlighting the historical and geographical connections between India and ASEAN, PM Modi underscored the shared values, regional unity, and mutual belief in a multipolar world that binds the two entities.
PM Modi further stressed that there is continuous progress in every field of mutual cooperation, even in an environment of global uncertainties, there is continuous progress in every field in our mutual cooperation.
"This is a testament to the strength and resilience of our relationship. The theme of this year's ASEAN Summit is 'ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth. 'ASEAN matters because here everyone's voice is heard, and ASEAN is the epicentre of growth because the ASEAN region plays a crucial role in global development. 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' - 'one earth, one family, one future', this sentiment is also the theme of India's G-20 Presidency," he stated.
At the summit, the ASEAN leaders also exchanged views on regional and international issues.
Indonesia is the chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year.
East Asia Summit is the foremost of the ASEAN-centered mechanisms in the Indo-Pacific. Since its inception in 2005, it has played a significant role in providing a platform for dialogue and discussion on matters of strategic importance to the region.
The EAS is held annually by leaders of 18 countries of the Asia-Pacific region formed to further the objectives of regional peace, security and prosperity. The membership of EAS consists of 10 ASEAN Member States (i.e. Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam), Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation and the USA.
The first East Asia Summit was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on December 14, 2005.
Prime Minister Modi attended the 20th ASEAN-India Summit and the 18th East Asia Summit at the invitation of Indonesia's President Joko Widodo.
The Prime Minister's visit to Indonesia comes ahead of the G20 Summit to be held in New Delhi on September 9-10 under India's Presidency this year. Indonesia also made adjustments to the schedule so that PM Modi could go back to India for the G20 Summit. (ANI)