United States praised PM Modi’s call for freedom of navigation for peace
Indian Defence News: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s been praised by the United States today on this efforts and emphasis on having freedom of navigation and adhering to the international norms for peace and economic growth. The appreciation from the US came amidst China’s territorial dispute in the South China Sea.
US defence secretary general James Mattis, speaking at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue, said that while the competition between the US and China is certainly expected to be there, the conflict between the world’s two largest economies was not “inevitable”. Respecting freedom of navigation and adhering to international norms are essential for peace and economic growth in the inter-linked geography of the Indo-Pacific,” Mattis said
PM Modi had called the sea lanes passing through the strategic South China Sea as the “main arteries” of global trade. He had also said that India supports freedom of navigation and seeks “utmost respect” for international law.
Modi in his address at the 11th East Asia Summit (EAS) in September last year, had outlined India’s principled position on the dispute over the South China Sea, by stating that the “threat or use of force” to resolve the dispute would complicate matters affecting peace and stability.
Mattis, in his speech titled ‘The United States and Asia- Pacific Security’, also expressed concern about the Chinese actions that impinge on the interests of the international community.
“We cannot accept Chinese actions that impinge on the interests of the international community, undermining the rules-based order that has benefited all countries represented here today including, and especially, China,” he told some 500 delegates at the Shangri-La Dialogue which focuses on defence and security.
China has been investing a huge stake in creating the artificial island for hosting military planes, which is been challenged US and has challenged these annexations of the islands and has advocated for a diplomatic settlement of the disputes.In December 2016, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), an American think-tank, cited satellite images to back claims that China was installing a weapons system on these artificial islands.