South China Sea: India calls for respect to global lawsJuly 12th, 2012 - 10:39 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, July 12 (IANS) India Thursday called for all parties to the territorial disputes in the South China Sea to respect global laws governing freedom of navigation and access to resources.
The world’s critical maritime hot spot has in the recent months witnessed flare-ups between China and other nations over their territorial claims in the region.
“We have been following developments in respect to the South China Sea. As we had stated earlier, India supports freedom of navigation and access to resources in accordance with principles of international law. These principles should be respected by all,” India’s External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said at Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh.
Krishna was participating in the ASEAN Regional Forum ministerial meeting there and was addressing the members.
“We have noted that the parties concerned are engaged in discussions to address the issue, and we hope that progress will be made with respect to implementation of Guidelines to the 2002 Declaration of Conduct on the South China Sea,” Krishna said, referring to a multilateral principles that the nations of the region had agreed upon a decade ago.
India has been keen on oil exploration in the South China Sea and had taken interest in blocks belonging to Vietnam, but later withdrew from some of the projects. China had openly expressed its displeasure in India’s engagement in oil exploration in the region.
Indian warships that have been venturing into South China Sea have been frequently confronted by Chinese warships.
Interestingly, a flotilla of four Indian warships had sailed to Chinese port of Shanghai through South China Sea in June and were pleasantly surprised when they were provided an escort for a day by a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (Navy) warship while passing through these waters.
–Indo-Asian News Service
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