Modi calls for free and open Indo-Pacific

Participating in the 16th East Asia Summit, which saw discussions on Indo-Pacific, South China Sea, UNCLOS and terrorism, PM Narendra Modi underlined the significance of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.

While reiterating the principle of Asean centrality in the region in his virtual address, Modi said India remained committed to strengthening “respect for shared values of multilateralism, rules-based international order, international law and sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations”.

The summit saw participation by a US President for the first time since 2017 with President Joe Biden reiterating the US commitment to the international rules-based order and expressing concern over threats to that order. Japanese PM Fumio Kishida expressed reservations over China's conduct in East and South China Sea and also raised issues related to human rights in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. Both leaders were also said to have expressed concerns over the situation in Taiwan Strait because of China's “coercive action”.

According to sources, Modi emphasised on the importance of a resilient global value chain and also reiterated India's commitment to deliver Quad-sponsored vaccines to Indo-Pacific countries. “PM recalled India’s support of $1 million to Asean Covid-19 Recovery Fund and raised the idea of developing global standards on cyber security,” said a source.

The 16th East Asia Summit was hosted by Brunei as Chair. It saw the participation of leaders from Asean countries and other EAS countries including Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, USA and India. This was Prime Minister’s 7th East Asia Summit, recalled the government in a statement.

“In his remarks at the Summit, Prime Minister reaffirmed the importance of EAS as the premier leaders-led forum in Indo-Pacific, bringing together nations to discuss important strategic issues. Prime Minister highlighted India’s efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic through vaccines and medical supplies. Prime Minister also spoke about “Atmanirbhar Bharat” campaign for post-pandemic recovery and in ensuring resilient global value chains,” said the government.

Modi also called for a better balance between economy and ecology and climate sustainable lifestyle.

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