New Delhi – The Indian Defence Minister expected that a system based on international rules be maintained in the Indo-Pacific sector. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was speaking at the virtual conference with the Defence Ministers of the ASEAN countries. The unrestrained Chinese activities in the Indo-Pacific are considered the biggest threat in the region. In this scenario, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh seems to have been targeting China, saying that a system based on international rules is required in the Indo-Pacific region. At the same time, the Indian Defence Minister registered his reaction in suggestive words. He said that the developments in the South China Sea attract the attention of the countries outside the region. While targeting China, Rajnath Singh also lashed out at Pakistan, saying that terrorism and extremism pose a massive threat to the world without naming it.
A virtual meeting of the ASEAN Defence Ministers was held on Wednesday. The Defence Ministers of the United States, Russia, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea also participated in the meeting. While speaking in the meeting, the Indian Defence Minister mentioned the Indo-Pacific and pointed out that India was aware of the Chinese threats in the sector. India advocates a system based on international rules in the Indo-Pacific sector. Rajnath Singh expressed hope that there should be free air and marine movement and transactions without any restrictions in the sector. Rajnath Singh added that ASEAN could be used for this purpose and India would support it.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh indicated that the Indian interests are linked to the sector, saying that India has started efforts to build relations with all countries from the region for peace, stability, and prosperity. At the same time, the statements made by the Indian Defence Minister regarding the South China Sea are noteworthy. Rajnath Singh said that the developments in the South China Sea region are attracting the attention of countries outside the region. Even India is concerned about these developments. Rajnath Singh did not specifically mention that the aggressive Chinese activities are the cause for the concern. But since the last few weeks, all the leading countries globally are openly criticising Chinese activities in the region. Therefore, the Indian Defence Minister seems to have presented the Indian stance in suggestive words.
Meanwhile, Rajnath Singh pointed out that Terrorist networks and extremism pose a major threat to world peace and security. India is committed to stopping terrorist funding as a Financial Action Task Force (FATF) member. The Indian Defence Minister appealed that all the countries need to unite to stop the flow of funds to the terrorists and tighten the financial noose around them. Everyone should take the initiative in that respect. The FATF meeting is scheduled to be held in the next month, where the decision will be taken whether to keep Pakistan in the Grey List or not. Against this background, the Indian Defence Minister seems to have increased the pressure on Pakistan by raising the issue of terror funding.
The issue of aggressive Chinese activities in the Indo-Pacific region was on the anvil during the G-7 meeting. After that, India has endorsed the accusations, expressing concerns over the Chinese activities and saying that China is responsible for the instability in the region during the ASEAN meeting.