China’s transgressions, Ukraine situation feature in India-Japan discussions

New Delhi, March 19 : The transgressions by China in Ladakh and its hegemonistic forays in the South China Sea, the situation in Ukraine and Afghanistan figured prominently in talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during the annual summit talks here today. Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said in a briefing that the issue of China did come up in the talks. “Both sides did inform each other of their perspectives. We did inform the Japanese side of the massing of troops and multiple attempts at transgressions and that we were holding talks with China on the border related issues and the recent issues in Ladakh. We also made it clear that until and unless there is resolution of the issues involved and there is peace and tranquility in the border areas we cannot consider the relationship (with China) to be business as usual, and normalcy in the relationship would depend on progress on the issues that we are discussing.” He said Japanese PM Fumio Kishida briefed PM Modi “on their own perspective with respect to the East and South China Seas” — referring to the heightening tension between Japan and China over the Senkaku islands in the South China Sea. He also said the Ukraine issue did come up during the discussion and both sides had a “good exchange of perspectives on this”. Referring to China, the joint statement issued by the two sides said the two PMs “emphasized that India and Japan, as two leading powers in the Indo-Pacific region, had a shared interest in the safety and security of the maritime domain, freedom of navigation and overflight, mpeded lawful commerce and peaceful resolution of disputes with full respect for legal and diplomatic processes in accordance with international law.” “They reaffirmed their determination to continue prioritizing the role of international law, particularly the ted Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and facilitate collaboration, including in maritime security, to meet challenges against the rules-based maritime order in the East and South China Seas”—in direct reference to China’s hegemonistic moves in the region. “They emphasized the importance of non-militarisation and self-restraint. They further called for the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and the early conclusion of a substantive and effective Code of Conduct in the South China Sea in accordance with international law, especially UNCLOS, without prejudice to the rights and interests of all nations including those not party to these negotiations.” On Ukraine, the Joint Statement said that the two PMs expressed their serious concern about the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and assessed its broader implications, particularly to the Indo-Pacific region. “They underscored the importance of safety and security of nuclear facilities in Ukraine and acknowledged active efforts of the IAEA towards it. They reiterated their call for an immediate cessation of violence and noted that there was no other choice but the path of dialogue and diplomacy for resolution of the conflict. The Leaders affirmed that they would undertake appropriate steps to address the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine,” it said. In this context, both PMs outlined the humanitarian measures taken with respect to Ukraine, and PM Modi mentioned the 90 tonnes of humanitarian assistance sent to Ukraine, in the form of medicines and other essential equipment, the Foreign Secretary said. On Afghanistan, the Prime Ministers reaffirmed their intention to collaborate closely to realise peace and stability in Afghanistan, and stressed the importance of addressing the humanitarian crisis, promoting human rights and ensuring establishment of a truly representative and an inclusive political system. On the issue of terrorism, the two PMs expressed deep concern at the growing threat of terrorism and underlined the need for strengthening international cooperation to combat terrorism in a comprehensive and sustained manner, the statement said. “They called upon all countries to work together for rooting out terrorist safe havens and infrastructure, disrupting terrorist networks and their financing channels, and halting cross-border movement of terrorists. In this context, they also called upon all countries to ensure that territory under their control is not used to launch terror attacks, to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of such attacks. “They reiterated their condemnation of terrorist attacks in India, including 26/11 Mumbai and Pathankot attacks and called upon Pakistan to take resolute and irreversible action against terrorist networks operating out of its territory and comply fully with international commitments including to FATF. They also concurred to strengthen counter-terrorism efforts in multilateral fora, and to work together on early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) in the ted Nations,” it said. The joint statement also voiced concern at the situation in Myanmar and condemned North Korea’s destabilising ballistic missile launches. RN

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