Maritime security tops the agenda of Modi-Lee talks

RSTV Bureau
Singapore:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting with  Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, at Istana (Presidential Palace), in Singapore on Friday, June 01, 2018. (PTI Photo/PIB)

Singapore: Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, at Istana (Presidential Palace), in Singapore on Friday, June 01, 2018. (PTI Photo/PIB)

Prime Miniter Narendra Modi and his Singaporean counterpart Lee exchanged views on the regional and global challenges and reiterated their principled position on maritime security and expressed commitment to ‘Rules Based’ Order. The two leaders also agreed on the need to maintain an open, stable and fair international trade regime.

“We both have reaffirmed our views on maritime security and have shown our commitment to a ‘Rules Based’ order…We also agreed for a peaceful, open, and friendly maritime environment in the Indo-Pacific region,” Modi said.

China is engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas. Beijing has also made substantial progress in militarising its manmade islands in the past few years, which it says it has the right to defend.

China claims sovereignty over all of the South China Sea. But Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims. In the East China Sea, Beijing has territorial disputes with Japan.

The South China Sea and the East China Sea are stated to be rich in minerals, oil and other natural resources. They are also vital to global trade.

On his part, Lee said the bilateral defence ties have grown stronger.

“Our defence ties have strengthened, our navies have signed an agreement today on logistics cooperation and will also celebrate 25th anniversary of annual Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) this year,” Lee said.

(With inputs from PTI)