India favours new dispute redress system for sea

India on Sunday has favoured creation of a new international redress mechanism to tackle disputes in the high seas.

“Because of the changed economic scenario and discovery of new resources in the sea, the old laws and treaties may not of much use. New mechanisms need to be found out for resolving the dispute,” Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said at an international maritime conference on the sidelines of the International Fleet review here.

Though Parrikar did not mention the South China Sea, the reference is to the controversies surrounding the South China Sea where China had made territorial claims, annoying other nations and triggering an international tension.

While Beijing claimed islands in the South China Sea were reclaimed from Japan after World War II and there was no claimant over it until 1970, when hydrocarbon was discovered, Vietnam – one of the nations contesting the Chinese claims – has a different view.

Vietnam’s ambassador Ton Sinh Thanh had stated in a seminar in Delhi in December that his country had full historical evidence and legal foundation to reaffirm its sovereignty over the Paracels Islands and the Spratly Islands, which was owned and controlled peacefully and continuously by Vietnam since the 17th century when no countries claimed their sovereignty over these islands.

“We are now facing a very complicated and even dangerous situation in the East Sea (same as South China Sea), as large-scale land reclamation and construction of the artificial islands have been accelerated in this area. The concern is about the pace and scope to the militarisation of the East Sea, which could create a new armed race in the region,” he stated.

Rear Admiral Yu Manjiang from the 21 Task Force of the People’s Liberation Army Navy, who is leading the Chinese delegation at the international fleet review said, “South China Sea dispute is a historic problem, which we need to resolve peacefully.”

Parrikar suggested creation of a new international authority for dispute redress to avoid conflict situation.
DH News Service

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