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India, China discuss maritime security issues

Press Trust of India  |  Beijing 

and today discussed maritime security issues and prospects for bilateral cooperation for the first time since had enunciated India's policy on the strategic region amidst flexing muscles in the South and seas.

The two sides held their second maritime security dialogue here during which the Indian side elaborated on its vision for the region as articulated in Modi's keynote address at this year's Shangri-La Dialogue in

The two countries had held the inaugural maritime security dialogue in 2016 in amid tensions over the Sea. It was not held last year.

The first dialogue covered a range of issues of mutual interest, including exchange of perspectives on maritime security and prospects for maritime cooperation between the two countries.

Developments in international regimes such as UNCLOS (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea) and the IMO (International Maritime Organisation) also figured in the discussions, according to the

In the second dialogue, the two sides exchanged views on various topics of mutual interest, including perspectives on maritime security and cooperation, blue economy, and further strengthening of practical cooperation, a press release issued by the said.

Both sides underlined the importance of the dialogue as an important mechanism between the two countries for consultations on maritime issues.

"They emphasised the need to further strengthen maritime cooperation as an important area of India-China bilateral relations, and as a platform to strengthen political and strategic mutual trust between the two countries," the press release said.

The term being highlighted by the US, and besides has caused concerns in China, considering its stakes in the disputed Sea, where it claims about 90 per cent of it.

Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and have counter claims over the area.

China is also engaged in maritime disputes in the Sea with

The growing presence of the in the where it already acquired a logistic base at has aroused concerns in besides acquisition of the port in by China on a 99-year lease.

China is also expanding its influence over the besides aggressively pursuing its 21st century Maritime Silk Road which is part of its multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) aimed at expanding its trade and influence in the world.

In his address at the Shangri-La dialogue in last month, Modi had termed the Indo-Pacific is a natural region.

"Inclusiveness, openness and ASEAN centrality and unity, therefore, lie at the heart of the new Indo-Pacific. India does not see the Indo-Pacific region as a strategy or as a club of limited members," he had said.

The Indian delegation at today's talks was led by Pankaj Sharma, (Disarmament and International Security Affairs) in the while the Chinese delegation was led by Wu Jianghao, at the of the

The Indian delegation also called on Kong Xuanyou, of China.

Both sides agreed to hold the next round of the dialogue at a mutually convenient time in India, the press release said.

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

First Published: Fri, July 13 2018. 17:20 IST