Friday, 12 April 2024

South Asian Update
South Asian Update

South Asia

India backs Philippines amid sea tensions with China

 Published: 14:34, 27 March 2024

India backs Philippines amid sea tensions with China

India reiterated its support for the Philippines in asserting its sovereignty, particularly in light of the ongoing tensions in the South China Sea. Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar emphasized the significance of adhering to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) during a press conference held in Manila.

Jaishankar underscored that the progress and prosperity of the region are best served by a steadfast commitment to a rules-based order, with UNCLOS serving as a cornerstone for governing maritime activities.
The statement of support from New Delhi comes amidst heightened disputes between the Philippines and China over maritime boundaries in the resource-rich South China Sea.
During his official visit to the Philippines, Jaishankar engaged in discussions with his Filipino counterpart Enrique Manalo. Manalo reiterated the importance of the 2016 arbitral award issued by the Hague-based tribunal concerning the disputed South China Sea, emphasizing its finality and binding nature.
One of the focal points of contention between China and the Philippines is the Second Thomas Shoal, also known as the Ayungin Shoal, Bai Co May, and Ren'ai Jiao, a submerged reef located in the Spratly Islands within the South China Sea.
China asserts extensive maritime claims in the South China Sea based on its controversial nine-dash line, a claim that was invalidated by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in 2016, stating it lacks legal basis under international law.

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