Phnom Penh: Against the backdrop of a row among East Asian countries over South China Sea, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday advocated establishing of a “common set of principles” and “cooperative mechanisms” to deepen economic integration and ensure “open, inclusive and rule-based architecture” in the Asia-Pacific region.
Linking India’s security and prosperity to the Asia-Pacific region, he said, “our vision for this region is rooted in cooperation and integration”.
Addressing the East Asia Summit of 18 countries here, Singh said the meet was “witness to important events and changes taking place in the Asia Pacific region”.
Speaking against the backdrop of sharp differences among East Asian countries over use of resources of mineral-rich South China Sea over which China lays sole claim, he said, “concerted effort and collective action on the part of the countries gathered in the region can strengthen mutual understanding and help us address shared challenges”.
For this, he said, “it would be necessary to develop a common set of principles, establish cooperative mechanisms and deepen regional economic integration”.
Noting that the EAS had built an impressive agenda for economic cooperation and for addressing some common challenges despite being new, the Prime Minister said, “we should try and bring the same spirit in addressing our differences”.
He said he had “no doubt that, together, we can create an open, balanced, inclusive and rule-based architecture in the region for our collective security, stability and prosperity”. PTI