Rajnath Singh criticizes China’s expansionist policy
Speaking during the formal induction ceremony of INS Visakhapatnam, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh rebuked China’s expansionist policy in the Indo-Pacific region without taking its name.
Rajnath Singh said that “irresponsible nations” give inappropriate interpretations to international laws for their partisan interests.
While speaking at the ceremony, Singh said, “Some irresponsible nations, for the sake of their narrow partisan interests, keep on giving new and inappropriate interpretations to these international laws from hegemonic tendencies.”
He further added, “The arbitrary interpretations create obstacles in the path of a rule-based maritime order. We envision a rule-based Indo-Pacific, with freedom of navigation, free trade, and universal values, in which the interests of all the participating countries are protected.”
Singh reiterated that India, as a responsible maritime stakeholder, is a supporter of consensus-based principles and a peaceful, open, rule-based, and stable maritime order.
In the ‘United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea‘ (UNCLOS) of 1982, territorial waters of nations, exclusive economic zones, and the principle of ‘Good order at sea’ have been propounded.
He asserted that India’s interests are directly linked with the Indian Ocean and the region is crucial for the world economy.
The defence minister emphasized the need to keep the Indo-Pacific region open, safe, and secure, terming it as the primary objective of the Indian Navy.
Singh presided over formal induction of the naval ship, first of the four Visakhapatnam class destroyers, indigenously designed by the Indian Navy’s in-house organization Directorate of Naval Design and constructed by Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, Mumbai.
“Challenges such as piracy, terrorism, illegal smuggling of arms and narcotics, human trafficking, illegal fishing, and damage to the environment are equally responsible for affecting the maritime domain. Therefore, the role of the Indian Navy becomes very important in the entire Indo-Pacific region,” he added.
Singh exuded confidence that the state-of-the-art ship, equipped with the latest systems and weapons, will strengthen maritime security and protect the interests of the nation.
Saying that global security reasons, border disputes, and maritime dominance have forced countries to move towards strengthening their military power, Rajnath Singh exhorted the public and private sector to take advantage of the government’s policies, work together and make India an indigenous shipbuilding hub.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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