HomeNewsPH earns India’s support in upholding sovereignty over WPS

PH earns India’s support in upholding sovereignty over WPS

India has expressed support for the Philippines in asserting its sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea (WPS) amid China’s incursions in the busy waterway, Malacañang said Wednesday.

The reaffirmation of India’s support was expressed during President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s meeting with Indian Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar at Malacañan Palace on Tuesday, Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Cheloy Garafil said in a statement.

During the meeting, Marcos said getting support from “like-minded countries” such as India in terms of upholding international rules-based order is an “important development” for the Philippines.

Marcos expressed relief that the Philippines and India shared common interests, particularly in maintaining peace and order in the Indo-Pacific region.

“We have many shared interests, primary of that is to maintain the peace in our areas, and so this is a concern now, not only of India or of the Philippines alone, but the entire world,” Marcos told Jaishankar, as quoted by the PCO.

“So, whatever it is that we can do to make the situation better, in partnership with India, will certainly be an important development for us,” he added.

Jaishankar assured Marcos that India is “very resolute” in its position on the South China Sea (SCS) disputes, and acknowledges the validity of the 2016 Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration’s ruling, which invalidates China’s claim on the Philippine waters.

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Jaishankar said it is important for the Philippines, India, and other countries to coordinate and uphold international rules-based laws, such as the United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), to maintain peace and order in the Indo-Pacific region.

He also expressed his willingness to become a “charter member” of the Philippines, as far as efforts against China’s aggression in the South China Sea are concerned.

Jaishankar said India is ready to help the Philippines, whatever consequences they may be confronted with.

“So, if you want a country, which actually says will accept the judgement even if it goes against us, we are actually a natural candidate. So, we can be on your ship,” Jaishankar told Marcos.

Marcos thanked Jaishankar and assured the latter that his administration will continue to uphold and adhere to the UNCLOS and international rules-based orders.

The Philippines and India have agreed to accelerate maritime cooperation and hold an inaugural dialogue soon to discuss potential partnerships from marine environment protection down to security, according to a joint statement issued by Jaishankar and Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo after their bilateral meeting on Tuesday.

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