Will not gang up against China in Indo-Pacific region: India
India and China discussed maritime security issues and prospects for bilateral cooperation
INDIA on Friday told China that it is for free and open Indo-Pacific region and does not believe in ganging up against Beijing in the area as the two countries held their second maritime affairs dialogue.
India and China on Friday discussed maritime security issues and prospects for bilateral cooperation for the first time since Prime Minister Narendra Modi had enunciated India’s policy on the strategic Indo-Pacific region amidst Beijing flexing muscles in the South and East China seas.
The two sides held their second maritime security dialogue here during which the Indian side elaborated on its vision for the Indo-Pacific region as articulated in Prime Minister Modi’s keynote address at this year’s Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore.
The revival of so-called quad - an idea of anti-China bloc containing the US, Japan, India, and Australia in the Indo-Pacific -has worried China, which has become increasingly assertive in the international waters.
However, India sought to allay China’s anxiety at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore where Prime Minister Narendra Modi said New Delhi “does not see the Indo-Pacific Region as a strategy or as a club of limited members”.
He also talked about “freedom of navigation, unimpeded commerce and peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with international law”.
At the maritime dialogue in Beijing, India gave the same message to China. “The Indian side also elaborated on its vision for the Indo-Pacific region as articulated in Modi’s keynote address at this year’s Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore,” a statement from the Indian Embassy in Beijing said.
Even though India has never openly admitted being a part of the grouping, it has held talks with the other three, much to China’s discomfort.
“The two sides exchanged views on various topics of mutual interest, including perspectives on maritime security and cooperation, blue economy and further strengthening of practical cooperation,” it added.