Indo-Pacific, China map on agenda as PM leaves for Jakarta
When Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Jakarta on Wednesday for a two-day trip to attend the annual ASEAN-India Summit and the East Asia Summit hosted by Indonesian President Joko Widodo, future Indo-Pacific cooperation, trade concerns, the situation in Myanmar, and the recent controversy over China’s map are likely to be on the agenda.
What is the controversy over China’s new Map?
- Territorial Claims: China’s territorial claims over contested areas, such as Arunachal Pradesh and the Aksai Chin region, are reiterated by the map. This implies that despite persistent conflicts with India, China continues to claim its authority over these regions.
- South China Sea Claims: China’s sweeping claims to the whole South China Sea are highlighted by the inclusion of the “Nine-Dash Line” on the map. As various nations in the area, including the Philippines and Vietnam, have rival territorial claims in the South China Sea, this is a hotly contested topic. China’s map essentially affirms its hegemony in this important maritime region.
- Taiwan Claim: A tenth dashed line on the map highlights China’s claims to Taiwan. This is a provocative action because Taiwan is a democratic, self-governing island that China regards as being on its territory. China’s position on Taiwan’s status is reflected in it.
- Name Standardization: China’s practice of standardizing place names in contentious areas like Arunachal Pradesh is an intentional effort on its part to reassert its control and authority over these territories. China frequently renames locations to support its claims.
- Emphasis on Map Awareness: The release of the map during “National Mapping Awareness Publicity Week” emphasizes China’s dedication to precise and uniform mapping. This demonstrates how crucial mapping and cartography are to China’s geopolitical goals.
- Implications for Diplomacy and the Region: China’s distribution of this map may cause diplomatic problems and strained ties with its neighbours, including Malaysia, the Philippines, India, and Malaysia. As nations in the Indo-Pacific region react to China’s territorial aggression, it could also have an impact on regional dynamics.
- Geopolitical Signaling: China’s actions in making this map public can be considered as a part of their larger geopolitical plan. It underlines its willingness to challenge the status quo in numerous contentious territories and indicates a more proactive approach to territorial disputes.
What is the agenda of PM Modi’s Visit to Jakarta?
- During his visit to Jakarta, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make many significant diplomatic moves.
- The Indo-Pacific, trade difficulties, the situation in Myanmar, and the current map dispute in China are all on the agenda.
What are the agendas of the India-Asean Summit?
- The ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) is a trade pact between India and the 10 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) members.
- At the seventh ASEAN Economic Ministers-India Consultations, which took place in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2009, it was signed.
- It entered into force in 2010 and is occasionally known as the ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement.
- Leaders will assess development on numerous fronts at this summit:
- military training exercises and cooperative strategy.
- connectivity, including human-to-human and digital connections.
- In 2022, the ASEAN and India elevated their partnership to a full-fledged strategic partnership.
Overall, Prime Minister Modi’s visit reflects India’s active engagement with the ASEAN region and its commitment to addressing various regional and global issues, including trade, security, and territorial concerns in the Indo-Pacific. The diplomatic scheduling adjustments also highlight the importance of India’s participation in these summits.