01:23 GMT28 October 2020
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    Ahead of the Shangri-La Dialogue, India makes it clear that it favors the peaceful settlement of the South China Sea issue.

    India has reiterated its stance that the South China Sea issue should be resolved through peaceful means in accordance with international law.

    India's Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar, during an hour-long meeting with his counterpart from Singapore, Dr En Eng Hen, said "We have always been insisting that all parties should resolve this peacefully, based on international laws and various other international norms…we feel it should be resolved by sitting across the table."

    ​Parrikar also underlined Singapore's importance in India's 'Act East Policy.' "We consider Singapore to be a major fulcrum center for this policy (Act East) to be initiated, a key component and key friend of India to ensure that peace and tranquility remains in this region."

    An aerial photo taken though a glass window of a Taiwanese military plane shows the view of Itu Aba, which the Taiwanese call Taiping, at the South China Sea, March 23, 2016
    © REUTERS / Ministry of Foreign Affairs/Handout via Reuters/File Photo
    The meeting between Parrikar and Hen was held on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue, currently underway in Singapore. In a joint statement issued after the meeting, both nations reaffirmed India’s vital role in the security of the Asia-Pacific region, in particular through the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM)-Plus platforms.

    Both Ministers also emphasized the importance of international cooperation in tackling transnational security threats. In particular, both Ministers strongly condemned terrorism in all its forms, and renewed their commitment to cooperate in counter-terrorism efforts.

    They also stressed their shared commitment to maintaining freedom of navigation in international waters, the right of passage and overflight, unimpeded commerce and access to resources, in accordance with recognized principles of international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.


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    disputed islands, territorial dispute, ASEAN, South China Sea, China, India
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