In an indirect reference to China, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, on Wednesday, batted for freedom of navigation in international waters, including the South China Sea. Addressing the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus), Singh reiterated India’s commitment to the ASEAN under the ‘Act East’ policy and assured of continuous engagement at bilateral and multilateral levels.
“Developments in the South China Sea have attracted attention in the region and beyond. India supports freedom of navigation, overflight, and unimpeded commerce in these international waterways,” Singh said.
“India supports the utilisation of the ASEAN-led mechanism for implementation of a shared vision for the Indo-Pacific; and calls for a free, open and inclusive order in Indo-Pacific,” he further added. Singh’s comments come at a time when the world community has been concerned over the Chinese manoeuvres in the South China Sea (SCS) and the increased presence of Chinese warships in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
India, which honoured the Galwan martyrs not even 24 hours ago, has been severely affected by the Chinese expansionist designs along the northern borders.
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