India voices concern over developments in South China Sea

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, May 9, 2014

India today voiced concern over recent developments in South China Sea, where there has been an escalation of tensions between China, on the one hand, and the Philippines and Vietnam, on the other.
"We have been following with concern recent developments in the South China Sea. We believe that maintenance of peace, stability, growth and prosperity in the region is of vital interest to the international community," the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs said in response to a query from the media.
"We would like to see resolution of the issue through peaceful means in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law. In this context, we also maintain that freedom of navigation in the South China Sea should not be impeded and call for cooperation in ensuring security of sea-lanes and strengthening of maritime security," he added.
Earlier this week, China alleged that Vietnam had intentionally collided with its ships in the South China Sea after the latter claimed that Chinese vessels used water cannon and rammed eight of its vessels over the weekend near an oil rig.
China insists that the waters in which the rig was operating were Chinese territory and no other country had any rights to interfere there.
The tension between China and the Philippines relate to Beijing's demand for the immediate release of a Chinese fishing boat and its crew seized by the Philippines last Tuesday off Half Moon Shoal in the Spratly Islands.
According to the Philippine police, the boat and its crew were held for allegedly hunting of sea turtles.

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