India defends Indo-Pacific, reminds China of rules-based order

By Shweta Aggarwal

Subtly rejecting China’s accusation portraying the Indo-Pacific as a US’ ruse to stoke geopolitical competition, India has asserted and reminded Beijing about the imperative to uphold the rules-based international order and to ensure the freedom of navigation.

“As regards the recent 2+2, may I remind you that EAM (External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar) had stated that the Indo-Pacific region was a particular focus of our talks,” Anurag Srivastava, spokesperson of India’s Ministry of External Affairs, told reporters in New Delhi.

“We reiterated the importance of peace, stability and prosperity for all countries in this region.  This is possible only by upholding the rules-based international order, ensuring the freedom of navigation in the international seas, promoting open connectivity and respecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states,” said the spokesperson.

New Delhi’s remarks came a day after the 2+2 talks between the foreign and defence ministers of the US and India during which US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lashed out at the Communist Party of China.

Mr Pompeo’s remarks elicited a sharp rebuke from China. “The “Indo-Pacific strategy” proposed by the US is to stir up confrontation among different groups and blocs and to stoke geopolitical competition, in a bid to maintain the dominance of the US, organize closed and exclusive ideological clique,” said the Chinese embassy in New Delhi in a statement.

“The difficulties and challenges facing the world could only be coped with when all people join hands and pull together. Peaceful development and win-win cooperation are the only right path forward,” said the embassy.



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