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India‘India firmly supports Philippines’: EAM S Jaishankar takes swipe at China amid...

‘India firmly supports Philippines’: EAM S Jaishankar takes swipe at China amid sea disputes

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New Delhi: Days after Chinese ships launched a dangerous water cannon attack that heavily damaged a Philippine vessel and injured at least three of its navy personnel, Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar today expressed support for the country in upholding its sovereignty in areas within its territory in the disputed South China Sea. The small boat was carrying food and other supplies to a Philippines outpost in the South China Sea.

Cooperation imperative

Firmly reiterate 's support to the Philippines for upholding its sovereignty. As the changes, it is essential that countries like India and the Philippines cooperate more closely to shape the emerging order. — S Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister

At joint press briefing, Jaishankar, who is in Philippine capital Manila for a meeting with his counterpart Enrique Manalo, said: “I take this opportunity to firmly reiterate India's support to the Philippines for upholding its sovereignty. We are also convinced that the progress and prosperity of this region is best served by staunch adherence to a rules-based order (UNCLOS).”

The UNCLOS stands for United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and is regarded as the global constitution for the seas signed by 162 nations, including Philippines, India and China. “All parties must adhere to it in its entirety,” he said.

Without mentioning it, Jaishankar's reference to the UNCLOS was for China, which has refused to accept a UN verdict on demarcation of maritime boundaries in the South China Sea. Manila has renamed parts of the South China Sea that fall within its territory as West Philippine Sea.

“As the world changes, it is essential that countries like India and the Philippines cooperate more closely to shape the emerging order,” said Jaishankar, stressing that India was “preparing to step up its engagement with the Philippines”.

Jaishankar was scheduled to call on Philippines Secretary Gilbert Teodoro too. India has agreed to sell its hypersonic missile BrahMos to Manila. The Philippines, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei have been engaged in one-upmanship in the South China Sea, something that is feared as Asia's next potential flashpoint for a major armed conflict.

Northlines
Northlines
The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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