India, Asean to discuss South China Sea dispute at Delhi meet
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New Delhi: In the backdrop of growing Chinese influence in South China Sea, India and Asean (Association of South-East Asian Nations) countries will discuss the evolving security architecture in the region, including in maritime and cyber space, during a two-day meet in Delhi beginning Wednesday.
“Yes, we will be discussing regional security architecture (with Asean countries), as well as South China Sea issues, maritime security, cyber security,” secretary east in the ministry of external affairs Anil Wadhwa told reporters.
Asked specifically about South China Sea, which was witnessing growing Chinese influence and whether it would figure during the Delhi Dialogue VII, he said, “When we discuss security issues in the South China Sea, maritime security etc, obviously these issues will come up.” “The idea is to evolve a security architecture in the region... The code of conduct in South China Sea, which is engaging China in the ASEAN countries... All these issues will come up,” Wadhwa said.
India has been always maintaining that there should be a freedom of navigation in the high seas and the territorial dispute in South China Sea should be resolved through dialogue.
The territorial disputes in South China Sea involve both island and maritime claims among several countries within the region including China, Vietnam and Philippines.
To a question on military cooperation in South China Sea, Wadhwa said: “We have a cooperative approach to solving all security problems, that includes the South China Sea. “Our aim is to make sure that an approach which is based on conciliation and on peaceful means of negotiation. So whatever means we adopt in the future will be with that aim in mind,” he added.