Highlights

  • Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar addresses East Asia Summit in Cambodia
  • Vice President's address was a closed session
  • 2022 being celebrated as ASEAN-India Friendship Year

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East Asia Summit: India reaffirms focus on inclusive Indo-Pacific

India called for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region at the ongoing 17th East-Asia Summit in Cambodia. Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar is leading the India mission. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is also part of the delegation

Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar highlighted the global concerns on food and energy security, and emphasised the role of the East Asia Summit (EAS) mechanism in promoting free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific with freedom of navigation and overflight.

Addressing the 17th East Asia Summit (EAS) here, the vice president also called for the EAS members’ full contribution to the International Year of Millets in 2023.

Vice President Dhankhar underlined the growing global concerns on food and energy security, and emphasised the role of the EAS mechanism in promoting free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific with freedom of navigation and overflight.

The US, India and several other world powers have been discussing the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China’s rising military manoeuvring in the region.

China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though 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.

Also watch: ASEAN summit: EAM Jaishankar meets US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

The Quad grouping of India, Australia, Japan and the United States has strongly opposed any unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo or increase tensions in the Indo-Pacific, amidst China's increasingly intimidatory behaviour in the region.

Dhankhar, who is in Cambodia on a three-day visit, also briefly interacted with US President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the summit.

The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) summit is taking place amid a geopolitical turmoil triggered by the Ukraine conflict and China's military muscle-flexing in the Taiwan Straits.

Cambodia is hosting these summits in its capacity as the current chair of the ASEAN.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-India relations and is being celebrated as the ASEAN-India Friendship Year.

Apart from the ASEAN member states, the East Asia Summit includes India, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the US and Russia.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is accompanying Dhankhar, who is leading the Indian delegation to the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit and the 17th East Asia Summit here.

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