Russia, India, China discuss South China Sea in trilateral meet

RIC trilateral

The disputed region of South China Sea figured during recently held trilateral meeting between the foreign ministers of Russia, India and China. The issue was avoided for discussion in previous meetings. However, in the backdrop of a decision likely at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague on the case pertaining to Philippines vs China, the three countries issued a joint communiqué that mentioned about the South China Sea dispute.

The joint communiqué said: “Russia, India and China are committed to maintaining a legal order for the seas and oceans based on the principles of international law, as reflected notably in the UN Convention on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS). All related disputes should be addressed through negotiations and agreements between the parties concerned. In this regard the Ministers called for full respect of all provisions of UNCLOS, as well as the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and the Guidelines for the implementation of the DOC.”

China’s stand

China has been opposing the internationalisation of dispute in the South China Sea. It has said that it does not recognise the authority of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in its disputes with the Philippines. China believes that the issue be resolved bilaterally, without the interference of any external country.

Echoing China’s position, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said: “China opposes the internationalization of dispute resolution in the South China Sea, and has said it does not recognize the authority of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in its disputes with the Philippines.”

India’s position

While India has signed on the agreement echoing the trilateral position, it has also made bilateral agreements with the US, Vietnam and Japan drawing a stark contrast on how the international community should resolve the South China Sea disputes. India has also entered into a pact with Vietnam for oil exploration in the disputed South China Sea.

Author Profile

India Writes Network
India Writes Network
India Writes Network ( is an emerging think tank and a media-publishing company focused on international affairs & the India Story. Centre for Global India Insights is the research arm of India Writes Network. To subscribe to India and the World, write to A venture of TGII Media Private Limited, a leading media, publishing and consultancy company, IWN has carved a niche for balanced and exhaustive reporting and analysis of international affairs. Eminent personalities, politicians, diplomats, authors, strategy gurus and news-makers have contributed to India Writes Network, as also “India and the World,” a magazine focused on global affairs.