India stresses significance of navigation routes through East Sea hinh anh 1Vijay Thakur, Secretary (East) at the External Affairs Ministry of India, speaks at the round-table. (Photo: VNA)

New Delhi (VNA)
– India feels that maritime links through the East Sea are critical to peace, stability, prosperity and development of the Indo-Pacific region due to which it is vital to ensure freedom of navigation.

The statement was made by Vijay Thakur, Secretary (East) at the External Affairs Ministry of India, at a round-table on “Vietnam-India Relations: From Traditional Bonds to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership” held by the Vietnamese Embassy in India on November 21.

India has been very clear on its vision for Indo-Pacific to be an open, inclusive and rule-based region, and in that context New Delhi has acknowledged the great importance of the East Sea - an international waterway through which 5 trillion USD worth of goods and over 30 percent of international crude oil supplies transit, she said.

"We also believe that there should be a rule-based order where there is respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity and there must be peaceful resolutions of disputes and there should be no threat or use of force. The countries are engaged in negotiating a code of conduct. We hope this code of conduct respects international law," she said.

In his remarks, Vietnamese Ambassador Pham Sanh Chau said Vietnam appreciates India's position on the East Sea issue, which is especially relevant in the context of recent incidents in its territorial waters.

He said Vietnam and India have more than 15 mechanisms to strengthen bilateral ties, adding that Vietnam hopes to closely cooperate with India in cyber and defence security.

The two countries have signed many agreements economic cooperation, the ambassador added.

Associate Professor, Dr. Le Van Toan, President of the Science Council of the Centre for Indian Studies under the Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics, highlighted the factors affecting the Vietnam-India relationship at present and in the future.

The new context and visions require Vietnam and India to strengthen their solidarity, enhance political trust and support each other in development, he said./.