All 10 ASEAN leaders conveyed to India their need for it to play a extra assertive function within the strategically necessary Indo-Pacific area whereas recognising the nation’s rising stature in making certain regional peace and stability. “Sure,” mentioned Secretary East within the Ministry of Exterior Affairs Preeti Saran when requested throughout a media briefing whether or not the leaders of the highly effective ASEAN grouping favoured a extra assertive function for India within the Indo-Pacific area the place China has been ramping up its navy presence.
On whether or not ASEAN desires India to play a extra pro-active function within the Indo-Pacific within the wake of China’s rising expansionism within the space, Saran mentioned India-ASEAN relationship stands by itself. “All of the leaders conveyed their need for a higher participation of India (within the Indo-Pacific area),” she mentioned.
The will by the ASEAN nations for a higher function by India within the Indo-Pacific area assumes significance within the wake of rising tensions between China and plenty of nations of the grouping over the South China Sea dispute. Leaders of all 10 ASEAN member nations had been right here to take part at a summit assembly to mark 25 years of India-ASEAN ties and to attend India’s Republic Day celebrations.
Indo-Pacific broadly refers back to the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean areas, which additionally embody the disputed South China Sea the place Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Brunei query China’s claims over nearly your complete waterway. The US has additionally been pitching for higher Indo-US cooperation within the strategically key Indo-Pacific area.
The Affiliation of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) includes Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Laos and Brunei. Saran mentioned all of the ASEAN leaders appreciated India’s constructive function within the Indo-Pacific area. Quite a lot of urgent points together with the scenario within the Indo-Pacific area and methods to deal with risk of terrorism figured through the summit assembly in addition to in bilateral talks Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with the ASEAN leaders.
Referring to the problem of terrorism, Saran mentioned that ASEAN leaders emphasised on the necessity for concerted world efforts to comprise the menace. “Terrorism doesn’t know any boundaries. what’s cross border terrorism, you can’t be selective in tackling terrorism…. They (ASEAN leaders) recognised the necessity for the menace to be fought collectively,” mentioned Saran.
She mentioned India will host a convention on methods to counter radicalisation. Referring to the deliberations on the Plenary session on the summit, SThe need by the ASEAN nations for a higher function by India within the Indo-Pacific area assumes significance within the wake of rising tensions between China and plenty of nations of the grouping over the South China Sea dispute. aran mentioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi supplied India’s digital experience and expressed readiness to arrange digital villages in a number of the nations as a part of a pilot venture.
He additionally mentioned that India will host an ASEAN-India begin up pageant this yr. She mentioned subsequent yr shall be celebrated because the yr of India-ASEAN tourism by each the edges. India additionally supplied 1,000 scholarships in IIT for PhD college students from ASEAN nations.
Saran and several other different officers of the MEA additionally talked concerning the meticulous planning that went into internet hosting the ASEAN leaders together with selecting material for pillow covers and arranging for numerous recepies contemplating the meals habits of the leaders. In addition they talked about how Exterior Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was concerned in minute particulars for profitable internet hosting of leaders.