20th ASEAN-India Summit: MEA On Whether China’s ‘Standard Map’ Row Will Be Taken Up In Jakarta

As Indonesia prepares to host the ASEAN-India Summit and the East Asia Summit (EAS) on September 6-7, Saurabh Kumar, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, stated that subjects of “mutual concern” will be discussed, however he did not specify which issues, news agency ANI reported. He was referring to the potential of a debate over China’s so-called “standard map” during the ASEAN Summit in Indonesia.

Indonesia will chair the ASEAN Summit this year, under the theme “ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth.” This topic suggests that Indonesia expects ASEAN to be important and substantial as a source of economic growth. Saurabh Kumar was speaking during a press conference about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s travel to Indonesia for the 20th ASEAN-India Summit and the 18th East Asia Summit.

Speaking at the special briefing, he stated: “It is difficult to anticipate what would be discussed when the leaders meet, but issues which are of mutual concern–regional and international will come up once they have the discussion…Whether there would be consensus or not, can’t anticipate what would come out of the discussions. We cannot reveal any specific term.”

 “This year Indonesia is the chair of ASEAN and their theme is ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth. Within this framework, Indonesia organised a flagship event ASEAN Indo-Pacific Forum to implement the ASEAN outlook. This is an event that is focused on increasing the connectivity of ASEAN to the Indo-Pacific by involvement of businesses & industries,” he added.

Notably, China issued the 2023 version of its so-called “standard map” on August 28, integrating the country’s claims over the nine-dash line and therefore claiming a substantial portion of the South China Sea. Several neighbours reacted angrily to this development. India issued a “strong protest” to Beijing, claiming that they had no justification to claim Indian land. Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Nepal later joined the opposition to the so-called “standard map.”

The Secretary East also stated that PM Modi’s journey to Indonesia will be brief because he will be hosting the G20 Leaders Summit in New Delhi. 

“It is a very short visit, as the Prime Minister is hosting the G20, and the effort is to participate in this important summit and get back home as quickly as possible because the Prime Minister is the host for G20. So, there would not be any bilaterals during the course of the visit,” Kumar was quoted by ANI in its report. 

He also complimented the Indonesian side for making changes to the ASEAN schedule to allow PM Modi to return to India earlier. 

“Both the summits are being organised on the 7th so that PM Modi should return early. The Indonesian side was kind enough to advance the East Asia Summit timing a little bit from afternoon to forenoon so that the Prime Minister could come back early. The ASEAN-India Summit will take place from 9-10 am. This will be followed by a 15-minute break and then the East Asia Summit will take place,” the Secretary East added.

Notably, PM Modi will fly to Indonesia for a two-day visit on September 6-7 to attend the 20th ASEAN-India Summit and the 18th East Asia Summit (EAS), according to the External Affairs Ministry. PM Modi will visit Jakarta at the request of Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

The next ASEAN-India Summit will be the first after India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations bloc of countries elevated its ties to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2022. According to the foreign ministry, the Summit will assess the status of India-ASEAN ties and map the future course of cooperation.

According to a release, the East Asia Summit will allow leaders from ASEAN countries and its eight conversation partners, including India, to exchange perspectives on regional and global challenges.































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ABP News Bureau

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