At ASEAN, Modi brings up South China Sea issue

While the issue did not figure in the bilateral talks between the Prime Minister and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang.

November 21, 2015 06:02 pm | Updated September 06, 2016 08:53 am IST - KUALA LUMPUR

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Saturday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Saturday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made a passing reference to the disputes in the South China Sea in his address at the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN)-India Summit held in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.

"India hopes that all parties to the disputes in the South China Sea will abide by the guidelines on the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and redouble efforts for early adoption of a Code of Conduct on the basis of consensus," the Prime Minister said.

Mr. Modi also emphasised the need for evolving specific plans of cooperation in maritime security, counter-piracy and humanitarian and disaster relief.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swaroop said that the South China Sea issue also figured in the bilateral talks between Mr. Modi and the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe on Saturday.

He, however, said that the issue did not figure in the bilateral talks between the Prime Minister and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang which were held on the same day.

At the bilateral meeting, Mr. Swaroop said the Prime Ministers of India and China have reviewed the issues pertaining to global economic slowdown, climate change and the growing terrorism activities. Expansion of trade and economic partnership besides tourism between the two countries were also discussed.

According to MEA spokesperson, both the Prime Ministers felt that Asia would be more secure if India and China come together on countering terrorism.

In the meeting with the Japan Prime Minister, Mr Modi was stated to have observed that Right of Passage and access to resources envisaged in the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea should be amicably resolved. Also, the Code of Conduct should be accepted on a consensus basis.     

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