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Thread: Modi bats for rule-based security architecture, but holds meeting with Chinese leader

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    Default Modi bats for rule-based security architecture, but holds meeting with Chinese leader

    Agencies, Manila
    Making a veiled attack on China, India on Tuesday made a strong case for “rule-based regional security architecture” in the ASEAN and the Indo-Pacific region even as Beijing’s aggressive military posturing in the South China Sea did cast a shadow at the multiple Summits that ended here.
    “India assures the ASEAN of its steady support towards achieving a rules-based regional security architecture that best attests to the region’s interests and its peaceful development,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his opening remarks at the 31st ASEAN Summit here.
    He also said that: “Maritime links established thousands of years ago between India and ASEAN countries have enabled our trade relations in the past and we have to work closely to further strengthen them”.
    It goes without saying that China’s aggressive military build up remained one of the focus areas of the deliberations at the ASEAN Summit and other related top-level deliberations.
    On the sidelines of the Summits, India joined hands with the United States, Australia and Japan to formalise creation of a Quadrilateral architecture – essentially aimed at countering China’s growing influence both in the Indo-Pacific region and also globally.
    On November 12, Sunday, officials from these four countries met and “examined ways to achieve common goals and address shared challenges in the region” A statement from Australian government has said: “This includes upholding the rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific and respect for international law, freedom of navigation and overflight; increase connectivity; coordinate on efforts to address the challenges of countering terrorism and upholding maritime security in the Indo-Pacific”.
    The Indian side was represented by two senior officials Pranay Verma, Joint Secretary East Asia and Vinay Kumar, Joint Secretary (South). “The discussions focused on cooperation based on their converging vision and values for promotion of peace, stability and prosperity in an increasingly inter-connected region that they share with each other and with other partners,” a statement from India’s Ministry of External Affairs has said.
    China has been staking claims over all of South China Sea – a point countered by some key ASEAN members like the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei. However, according to local observers here, the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte did try to push for a “soft-landing” despite winning a petition lodged before the international court.
    Advocating peace, Mr Duterte also has said that South China Sea should be best left untouched. The ASEAN members been – however- pushing for a legally binding Code of Conduct for all stakeholders in the South China Sea even as Beijing has been opposing the framework.
    Prime Minister Modi exuded confidence that ASEAN will further “resolve to work together with one vision, one identity and as one independent community”. He also said that India’s Act East Policy is shaped around the ASEAN, and emphasised that “its centrality in the regional security architecture of the Indo-Pacific region is evident”.
    Seeking to take India-ASEAN cooperation to a newer height, Prime Minister Modi invited all 10 heads of nations of ASEAN to come for ASEAN Commemorative Summit on January 25 in New Delhi and also invited them to grace the next year’s Republic Day celebrations at the Rajpath on January 26, 2018 as special guests.
    “Prime Minister invited all the 10 leaders from the ASEAN countries for the ASEAN Commemorative Summit on January 25, 2018 and then he invited them to be special guests for the Republic Day celebrations on January 26..
    In response all the ASEAN leaders thanked the Prime Minister for the invite and graciously accepted this invitation,” Secretary East in the MEA, Preeti Saran, told reporters here at the end of the 31st ASEAN Summit here.
    Mr Modi also sought to build up pressure on Pakistan and China and maintained that North Korea’s proliferation links ought to be investigated and the parties who supported such “unlawful programmes” be made accountable.
    However, in quite a significant diplomatic move, the Prime Minister held crucial one-on-one round of talks with the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. “Two neighbours in deep conversation.
    PM @narendramodi with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the margins of #EastAsiaSummit Summit in #Manila,” the spokesman in Indian Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
    Modi targets Pakistan over ‘profileration links’ with North Korea
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday sought to build up pressure on Pakistan and China as well and insisted that North Korea’s proliferation links ought to be investigated and the parties who supported such “unlawful programmes” be made accountable.
    “Prime Minister pointed out (at the East Asia Summit meet) that it was important North Korea’s proliferation links must be investigated and to hold into account parties who have supported these unlawful programmes,” Secretary East in the MEA Preeti Saran told reporters at the end of East Asia and ASEAN Summits here.
    Mr Modi, however, did not take name of any country. Prime Minister also stressed on the need for a “safe security” in navigation in the Indo-Pacific region. Answering questions, Ms Preeti Saran said the Rohingya issue was raised at the East Asia Summit by many countries.
    “It was a topic of discussion in the East Asia Summit….Prime Minister also shared India’s well known position….and it will be shared with you,” she said. The issues of cross border terrorism also figured prominently and there was also concern about the developments in Korean peninsula.
    Prime Minister Modi called for “complete verification and irreversible de-nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula”.

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