India, Indonesia share similar positions on South China Sea: Hamid Ansari

Jakarta, Nov. 2 : Vice President M. Hamid Ansari has said that India and Indonesia shared several global and regional issues, including climate change, maritime security and freedom of seas.

“We share similar positions on several global and regional issues including climate change and maritime security and freedom of seas in the South China Sea,” he said while addressing a joint press conference with Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla in Jakarta.

China has been going out of the way to consolidate its dominance in South China Sea. However, this effort is vehemently and systematically opposed by all countries which believe that they have a stake in the Sea.

The issue has long been strain on relations in the region, with China’s claim to most of the South China Sea objected to by the Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia and Brunei.

India too recently sought to give teeth to its ‘Act East’ policy and asked the parties involved in South China Sea dispute to learn from the successful arbitration of India’s maritime territorial dispute with Bangladesh under United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

India and the US issued a joint strategic vision for the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean region, affirming the importance of safeguarding maritime security and ensuring freedom of navigation and over-flight in the South China Sea.

According to foreign news agency report, Manila had filed the case in 2013 to seek a ruling on its right to exploit the South China Sea waters in its 200-nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as allowed under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration, according to the foreign news agency, had rejected Beijing’s claim that the disputes were about territorial sovereignty and said additional hearings would be held to decide the merits of the Philippines’ argument.

China has boycotted the proceedings and rejects the court’s authority in the case. Beijing claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea, dismissing claims to parts of it from Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei. (ANI)