PM Modi proposes new initiative to ensure maritime dominance in Indo-Pacific

BANGKOK: Prime Minister Narendra Modi On Monday he proposed a new initiative to create a secure maritime domain in it, indicating India's willingness to play a more important role in the region where China has been expanding its military assertiveness.

Modi raised the idea of ​​the Indo-Pacific Ocean initiative during his speech at the XIV East Asia Summit, a major forum in the Asia-Pacific region that deals with issues related to security and defense.

In addition to the 10 ASEAN member states, the East Asia Summit includes India, China, the Republic of Korea, the United States and Russia .

The current chair of the Asean Thailand and Australia welcomed Modi's proposal.

The Prime Minister proposed an Indo-Pacific Ocean initiative to conserve and sustainably use the maritime domain and make significant efforts to create a safe and secure maritime domain, said Vijay Thakur Singh, Secretary (East) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The focus areas of this initiative include the creation of partnerships between states interested in several pillars, ranging from improving maritime safety to preserving and sustainably using marine resources, developing capacities and working together in trade and development. shipping, he said.

Singh said Australia has already indicated its interest in working with India to develop the initiative.

In his speech, the prime minister also proposed an EAS seminar on maritime safety in Chennai next year.

India has always been indicating that it was interested in playing a more important role in the Indo-Pacific region.

The United States has also been pushing for a greater role for India in the Indo-Pacific in an effort to curb China's growing influence in the region.

In November of last year, India, the United States, Australia and Japan shaped the long-awaited Quad Coalition to develop a new strategy to keep critical maritime routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence.

Reflecting the growing congruence of interests in the region, senior officials from Quad countries also held consultations on Monday on the situation in the Indo-Pacific and supported ASEAN-led mechanisms for regional architecture in the region.