Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Sunday highlighted global concerns over food and energy security and highlighted the role of the East Asia Summit (EAS) mechanism in promoting a free, open Indo-Pacific. and inclusive with freedom of navigation and overflight.
Addressing the 17th East Asia Summit (EAS) here, the Vice President also called for the full contribution of EAS members to the International Year of Millet in 2023.
Vice President Dhankhar highlighted the growing global concerns over food and energy security and highlighted the role of the EAS mechanism in promoting a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific with freedom of navigation and overflight. The United States, India and several other world powers have discussed the need to ensure a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific amid China’s growing military maneuvers in the region.
China claims almost all of the disputed South China Sea, although Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it. Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea. China also has territorial disputes with Japan in the East China Sea.
The Quad group made up of India, Australia, Japan and the United States has strongly opposed any unilateral action aimed at changing the status quo or increasing tensions in the Indo-Pacific, amid China’s increasingly intimidating behavior in the region. Dhankhar, who is in Cambodia for a three-day visit, also spoke briefly with US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the summit.
The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) summit is taking place against the backdrop of geopolitical turbulence triggered by the conflict in Ukraine and China’s military exercise in the Taiwan Strait. Cambodia is hosting these summits in its capacity as the current chair of ASEAN.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-India relations and is celebrated as the Year of ASEAN-India Friendship. ASEAN includes Southeast Asian countries – Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei, Philippines, Singapore, Cambodia, Malaysia and Myanmar. In addition to ASEAN member states, the East Asia Summit includes India, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the Russia.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar accompanies Dhankhar who is leading the Indian delegation to the ASEAN-India Memorial Summit and 17th East Asia Summit here.
On Saturday, Dhankhar announced an additional contribution of $5 million to the ASEAN-India fund for science and technology to boost cooperation in public health, renewable energy and smart agriculture sectors.