Prime Minister Narendra Modi today lamented that there were a number of complex and unresolved questions on security in the East Asia region and once again highlighted the need for following global laws and norms in the South China Sea where China is locked in a dispute with some southeast Asian nations.
Modi in his intervention at the ninth East Asia Summit here in Myanmar’s capital underlined the need for a serious and sustained dialogue to strengthen the climate of understanding and confidence among all stakeholders in the region.
US President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang were among other world leaders present at the one-day summit.
“In a world of interdependence and globalisation, there is no option but to follow international laws and norms. This also applies to maritime security. For this reason, following international law and norms is important for peace and stability in South China Sea as well.
Though Modi did not name any country but the comments may be seen as targeting China which is engaged in maritime territorial disputes with a number of its neighbours, including Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines.
“This also includes the 1982 UN Convention on Law of the Sea, which should be the basis for resolving disputes peacefully. We also hope that the efforts to conclude a Code of Conduct on South China Sea by a process of consensus would be successful soon,” Modi said.
At the India-ASEAN summit yesterday, Modi had said all nations have a responsibility to follow international laws and norms on maritime issues and hoped for an early conclusion of a code of conduct to resolve the issue.