India’s dedication to freedom of navigation and unrestricted lawful commerce in international waters, in accordance with global norms, was reiterated by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh. Addressing the Asean defence ministers’ meeting-plus (ADMM-Plus) in Jakarta, Singh called for active collaboration among Asean and its partners to ensure peace, prosperity, and security in the region.
Singh emphasized the importance of adhering to international norms, such as the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982, to maintain stability in the Indo-Pacific. He stressed the significance of dialogue and diplomacy in achieving global peace and stability, particularly amidst the escalating tensions in the South China Sea and the military standoff in eastern Ladakh.
Singh made it clear that India advocated for inclusive regional security initiatives that are consultative, development-oriented, and reflective of the consensus among various stakeholders. He urged for a shift from the “us versus them” mentality, emphasizing the need for cooperation and understanding.
India remains committed to nurturing practical, forward-looking, and result-oriented cooperation with ADMM to enhance maritime security in the region. ADMM-Plus, which includes India, China, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia, and the US as dialogue partners, plays a vital role in promoting stability and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific.
During the meeting, Singh also held discussions with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to review the significant progress in bilateral strategic ties. They explored ways to strengthen efforts towards Asean centrality in the Indo-Pacific and work together to create a more secure region and world.
Q: What does freedom of navigation mean?
A: Freedom of navigation refers to the principle that ships and aircraft have the right to travel and conduct commercial activities in international waters without interference.
Q: What is the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982?
A: The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982 is an international treaty that establishes the legal framework for the use and conservation of the world’s oceans and their resources.
Q: What is the Indo-Pacific region?
A: The Indo-Pacific region refers to the vast area that spans from the Indian Ocean to the western Pacific Ocean, encompassing countries in Asia, Oceania, and the Indian subcontinent.
Q: What is the significance of ADMM-Plus?
A: ADMM-Plus is a platform for defense ministers from the 10 Asean countries and their dialogue partners to engage in discussions and promote cooperation on regional security issues.
Q: What is Asean centrality?
A: Asean centrality refers to the principle that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) should play a leading role in shaping regional policies and maintaining stability in the Indo-Pacific.
Sources: [India Today](https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/rajnath-singh-india-asean-defence-ministers-meeting-1879969-2021-10-28)