Recent remarks by ASEAN and Indian officials suggest that Delhi is looking to deepen its involvement in the South China Sea issue.
Most notable are the remarks Shri Anil Wadhwa, Secretary (East) of India’s Ministry of External Affairs, made last week at the Delhi Dialogue VI, an annual ASEAN-India dialogue. Speaking to the journalists at the conference, Wadhwa said:
“We advocate that the lines, the channels of trade and communication should be kept open and of course the sea, which, according to UN (United Nations) international law of the sea, is common to all the countries that use it. Definitely we are concerned.”
Later, he added, “Our position has always been India stands for freedom of navigation on high seas. We would like to ensure that all countries in the region adhere to the international conventions on the law of the sea in this issue.” He also stressed the centrality of ASEAN and urged restraint among all the parties, according to reports in the Philippine media.