India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, while speaking at the Quad foreign ministers meet in Tokyo in Japan, called for “respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty” and “peaceful resolution of disputes”.
The foreign ministers of the United States, Japan, Australia, and India met in Tokyo on Tuesday, October 6, to discuss the situation in the Indo-Pacific region. In other words, they analyzed the Chinese aggression in the South China Sea and their repercussions on the South Asian nations.
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) October 6, 2020
EAM Jaishankar highlighting how as “vibrant and pluralistic democracies with shared values”, Quad member states have “collectively affirmed the importance of maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific” and “remain committed to upholding the rules-based international order, underpinned by the rule of law, transparency, freedom of navigation in the international seas”.
Interestingly, China has adverse relations with all the four nations of Quad. As it claims almost 90% of the overall authority in the South China Sea, has irked many ASEAN countries like Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The EAM explained, “our objective remains to advance the security and the economic interests of all countries having legitimate and vital interests in the region” and expressed satisfaction that the Indo-Pacific concept has gained increasingly wider acceptance. ASEAN, Germany are among other blocks and countries to acknowledge the concept.
He said, “The events of this year have clearly demonstrated how imperative it is for like-minded countries to coordinate responses to the various challenges that the pandemic has brought to the fore. You are all aware that India assumes membership of the UN Security Council next year. We look forward to seeking collective solutions to global challenges, including global recovery from the pandemic and reform of multilateral institutions.”
Amidst the on-going tension between India and China along the Tibet border, statements by EAM S Jaishankar make a lot of sense and clearly represent India’s vision towards its neighbors.