South China sea dispute :: China does not want India to toe US line
China expects India to react cautiously to the outcome of the international arbitration on the South China Sea dispute, without being influenced by the United States.
Beijing has conveyed to New Delhi that it would expect India to maintain that bilateral and friendly dialogue between China and its neighbours was the only way to resolve the South China Sea dispute, sources told DH.
China reached out to India as the Permanent Court of Arbitration based in The Hague is set to issue its award on the dispute on July 12.
Beijing has already made it clear that China would neither accept nor recognise the ruling because the arbitration process was unilaterally initiated by Philippines and had been “illegal, null and void” right from the beginning.
It conveyed that Beijing would expect New Delhi’s reaction to the award of the arbitral tribunal to be consistent to the position of Russia, India and China as enunciated in the joint statement issued after the meeting of the foreign ministers of the three nations in Moscow on April 18, sources said.
The RIC (Russia-India-China) foreign ministers had agreed that all maritime disputes, including the South China Sea controversy, should be addressed “through negotiations and agreements between the parties concerned”.
Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj had attended the meeting along with her Russian and Chinese counterparts Sergey Lavrov and Wang Yi.
Race for seas ::
Russia-India-China foreign ministers had a meeting in Moscow on April 18 They agreed that all maritime disputes be addressed “through negotiations and agreements between the parties concerned”
Permanent Court of Arbitration based in The Hague is set to issue its award on the South China Sea dispute on July 12
The joint statement issued after the meeting noted that Russia, India and China were 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). The ministers also 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.
India had earlier raised its pitch over the South China Sea dispute, joining US and Japan to call for “peaceful settlement” of maritime disputes in accordance with international laws and maintenance of “freedom of navigation and over-flight and unimpeded lawful commerce” through sea-lanes in the disputed waters. India had also urged all States to avoid unilateral actions that could lead to tensions in the South China Sea – apparently making a call to China to refrain from building new islands and air-strips in the disputed waters.
The reference to the dispute in the past in the India-US and India-Japan joint statements has irked China. The latest India-US joint statement issued after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting with US president Barack Obama in Washington DC early last month, however, had no mention of the dispute.
By: Deccan Herald
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