INDONESIA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized the importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific and enhancing the Global South’s voice in the post-COVID world order.
PM Modi referred to the 10-nation bloc as the “epicentre of growth” and emphasized the ASEAN’s role in India’s Indo-Pacific efforts in his remarks at the yearly ASEAN-India conference in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. He emphasized the need for a rules-based post-COVID world order and a “shoulder to shoulder” relationship with ASEAN.
India, along with the US, China, Japan, and Australia, is partnering with ASEAN, a powerful regional organization. The prime minister emphasized human welfare, focusing on a free, open Indo-Pacific region and strengthening the Global South’s voice.
India and ASEAN are connected by history, geography, values, unity, stability, prosperity, and belief in a multipolar world. The alliance occupies a prominent place in India’s Indo-Pacific agenda.
The first summit since upgrading to a comprehensive strategic alliance last year showcased strong and resilient collaboration, with ASEAN playing a crucial role in global development. “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” — “one earth, one family, one future” — is also the slogan of India’s G-20 Presidency, according to PM Modi.
In a speech at the East Asia Summit, Modi called for everyone’s dedication and teamwork to strengthen all countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity in light of China’s growing military aggression in the South China Sea. He emphasized the need for the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) compliance and application to the South China Sea Code of Conduct.
His remarks come days after several ASEAN members, including Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines, responded angrily to Beijing’s territorial assertion in its most recent iteration of the “standard map of China” regarding the South China Sea.
The “standard map of China” for 2023 was released by Beijing on August 28. It includes Taiwan, the South China Sea, Arunachal Pradesh, and Aksai Chin as Chinese territories. India has strongly protested China over the “map” and rejected it.
Prime Minister Modi believes all nations have a stake in maintaining peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region.
India supports the South China Sea Code of Conduct, ensuring compliance with UNCLOS and considering non-participating countries’ interests. The East Asia Summit, founded in 2005, is a key platform for discussing security and military matters in the Asia-Pacific region, benefiting strategic, geopolitical, and economic development.
Modi highlighted the challenges of geopolitical disputes, terrorism, and extremism in the current world. He emphasized the importance of multilateralism, rule-based international law, and teamwork to address these issues.
He discussed topics such as connectivity, maritime cooperation, digital transformation, trade, economy, environment, health, and conventional medicine. He provided detailed suggestions and released joint declarations between India and ASEAN, focusing on maritime collaboration and food security.