Stating that the development of Indo-China relations should be based on mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutuality of interests, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar made clear on Thursday that the state of the border will reflect on the state from China. relationship with India.
Addressing the 12th Delhi Dialogue attended by many foreign ministers from ASEAN countries, Jaishankar noted that ASEAN partners would have a stake in India-China relations.
He also said that the world is currently experiencing turmoil which, coupled with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, has made the global outlook even more uncertain and complex.
“Developments in our own region have also had their implications, whether we are talking about Afghanistan or Myanmar. Further afield, the conflict in Ukraine is heightening concerns about food, fertilizers and our energy security,” the minister said. Foreign Affairs.
This global scenario highlights the need for countries in the Indo-Pacific region to strengthen cooperation and, in fact, stand together, he said.
Jaishankar noted that it is natural, while looking at the wider landscape, that ASEAN partners are interested in China-India relations.
“So let me be clear that the development of our relationship should be based on three mutual principles – mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutuality of interests,” he said, adding that the The state of the boundary will reflect on the state of the relationship.
The remarks came amid a standoff between India and China that began in early May 2020. Following military talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year on the northern and southern shores. of Pangong Lake and in the Gogra region.
India has always maintained that peace and tranquility along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is essential for the overall development of bilateral relations.
S Jaishankar said the theme of the current edition of the Delhi Dialogue – “Building Bridges in the Indo-Pacific” – is relevant both in substance and in its timing.
“The undeniable logic of the connectivity of the two oceans, as well as the ongoing global rebalancing call for an open dialogue…And this is also an opportune time to discuss this topic because, as I noted, we are celebrating 30 years of ASEAN-India relations.
“So we’re not just looking at building bridges for themselves, I think we’re looking at bridges that could become the path to a truly comprehensive strategic partnership between ASEAN and India,” he said. declared.
As for the contemporary era, India’s Act East policy has clearly been the bedrock of the ASEAN-India partnership, Mr. Jaishankar said.
“ASEAN, in fact, has a unique value as a confluence of our Act East policy and our Neighborhood First policy,” he added.
The Union Minister asserted that from the Indian perspective, ASEAN is at the center of the Indo-Pacific – geographically, culturally and strategically.
“The centrality of ASEAN is therefore self-evident, especially since its architecture has such wide coverage. It is precisely for this reason that Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi announced the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) at the 2019 East Asia Summit. The IPOI shares strong convergence with ASEAN’s own outlook on the Indo-Pacific,” he said.
Talking about how to take full advantage of India-ASEAN relations, Jaishankar said the two sides should make connectivity wider and more efficient.
“We are aligning our initiatives in this regard with the ASEAN Connectivity Master Plan. significant of those undertaken by India,” he said. .
“These are also the most challenging, both due to topography and local conditions. Achieving their rapid implementation will require sustained attention, including through our bilateral engagement with Myanmar,” Mr. Jaishankar said.
He also called for exploring synergies in connectivity plans with others like the BIMSTEC Connectivity Master Plan.
“Indeed, seamless connectivity from India to Vietnam and the Philippines will create an east-west lateral that will impact the entire Asian continent,” S Jaishankar said.
“India and ASEAN are contributing to the ongoing rebalancing of the global order. We are driven by a rising consumer class, a strong start-up ecosystem, a growing internet economy and a robust demographic dividend. We also have between us the necessary trust and transparency now, which is so essential to digital cooperation,” he said.
Emphasizing the deepening of India-ASEAN ties, Mr. Jaishankar said the ability of the two sides to expand the collaboration, add more facets and make it more intense resonates well. beyond.
“We can make a real contribution to the evolution of the Indo-Pacific and I dare say, even to the emergence of a new world order,” he said.
In his remarks, Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, noted that the ASEAN-India economic partnership has grown in recent years despite the Covid and called for a additional link building.
Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son, Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn, Lao PDR Deputy Foreign Minister Thongphane Savanphet , Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and Thai Foreign Minister’s Special Envoy also attended the ministerial dialogue session and called for strengthening ASEAN-India ties.
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