Indian official talks tension over territory
India’s defence minister says it is in China’s economic interest to reduce tensions in the South China Sea, where Beijing is embroiled in territorial disputes with various governments.
Manohar Parrikar told an international security conference yesterday that understanding each other’s perspectives and increasing trust between stakeholders will reduce tensions. His Japanese counterpart also emphasised that peace will lead to prosperity.
“It is ultimately economics,” Parrikar said. “If you have an unstable region like what we have in the Middle East, I don’t think economics and prosperity will really (be) enhanced.”
Parrikar said that however small or “however powerful” a country may be, “no commerce or commercial activity takes place in a highly tense (region). And I think it is in the interest of everyone, including China, to ensure that peace remains”.
China meanwhile, said it will ignore the decision of an international arbitration panel in the Philippines’ lawsuit against Beijing's sweeping territorial claims.
“Because the territorial and sovereignty disputes have not been subjected to the arbitration, we think the arbitration is illegal,” said Rear Adm. Guan Youfei, director of the foreign affairs office of China;s National Defence Ministry
The Philippines has filed a case in the United Nations under the UN Convention on Law of the Sea, questioning China’s claim in the South China Sea. An arbitration panel is expected to rule soon.