New Delhi, Nov 23 (PTI) India on Tuesday said it envisages a free, an open and inclusive and a rules-based Indo-Pacific with respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations in the region.
Riva Ganguly Das, Secretary (East) in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), also said that a comprehensive approach to maritime security should protect and support legitimate activities while countering traditional and non-traditional threats.
She was addressing the 5th East Asia Summit conference on maritime security cooperation.
The grouping of East Asia Summit (EAS) includes India, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Russia apart from 10 member states of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
"India envisages a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific with respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations in the region, peaceful resolution of disputes, avoidance of use or threat of use of force, and adherence to international laws," Ganguly Das said.
She said India's Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) is based on this vision and that it is an open and non-treaty based initiative that does not envisage creating any new institutional framework.
The evolving situation in the Indo-Pacific region in the wake of China's increasing military muscle-flexing has become a major talking point among leading global powers.
Several countries and blocs have come out with their vision for the Indo-Pacific considering its growing strategic interests.
At the East Asia summit in Bangkok in 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed setting up the IPOI to conserve and sustainably use the maritime domain and to make meaningful efforts to create a safe and secure maritime domain.
"As a nation deeply committed to strengthening the EAS as an ASEAN-led organisation, India continues to contribute positively to the EAS goals including maritime security cooperation," Ganguly Das said.
"We are happy to have a valuable platform of EAS to take forward the objectives envisaged in IPOI and discuss the issues of common interests and address the common challenges in the domain of maritime security together," she added. PTI MPB ZMN