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India supports rules-based security architecture

Press Trust of India  |  Manila 

Prime Minister Modi today called for intensifying regional cooperation to effectively deal with and pitched for a rules-based security architecture for the resource-rich region, seen as a veiled reference to China's expansionist posturing in the Indo- Pacific.

In an address at the ASEAN-summit here, Modi identified and extremism as the major challenge facing the region and said time has come for the countries of the region to join hands to collectively deal with it.

"We have individually strived very hard to fight and violent extremism. It is time that we jointly address this challenge by intensifying cooperation in this crucial area," he said.

The 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is considered one of the most influential groupings in the region and and several other countries including the US, China, and are its dialogue partners.

In a clear reference to the South Sea (SCS) dispute which has cast a shadow over the summit talks, Modi said will continue its support to the for establishing a rules-based security architecture in the region.

"assures the of its steady support towards achieving a rules-based regional security architecture that best attests to the regions interests and its peaceful development," he said.

China's aggressive military build up in the SCS was one of the focus areas of the deliberations at the summit.

claims sovereignty over all of SCS, a huge source of hydrocarbons. However, several member countries including Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei have counter claims.

has been supporting freedom of navigation and access to resources in the SCS in accordance with principles of international law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The have been pushing for a legally binding code of conduct for all stakeholders in the SCS but Beijing has been opposing such a framework asserting that it will resolve the dispute with respective countries under bilateral mechanism.

Prime Minister Modi also talked about shared values and common destiny between and ASEAN, adding 1.25 billion people in were eagerly waiting to receive leaders of the at the Republic Day celebrations in January next year.

He said is also holding a commemorative summit with on January 25 next year.

The ties between and have been on an upswing.

The region along with together comprises combined population of 1.85 billion people, which is one fourth of the global population and their combined GDP has been estimated at over USD 3.8 trillion.

Investment from to has been over USD 70 billion in the last 17 years accounting for more than 17 per cent of Indias total FDI.

Indias investment in during the same period has been more than USD 40 billion.

Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Brunei are the members of the

Prime Minister Modi also participated at a meeting of leaders of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

The RCEP, comprising 10-member bloc and six other countries -- India, China, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand, is engaged in negotiations for a free trade pact.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, November 14 2017. 17:22 IST