Bangkok [Thailand], August 18 (ANI): Emphasizing that India envisages a free, open, inclusive and peaceful Indo-Pacific built on a rules-based order, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who is on a visit to Thailand, said that only those whose mindsets are built around spheres of influence and are uncomfortable with the democratization of world affairs will dispute the Indo-Pacific.
"A more collaborative outlook that transcends the orthodoxy of earlier theatres is the need of the day. This is about recognizing the realities of globalization and the consequences of re-balancing. Only those whose mindsets are built around spheres of influence and uncomfortable with the democratization of world affairs will dispute the Indo-Pacific today," Jaishankar said at the Chulalongkorn University in Thailand.
Jaishankar spoke extensively on India's Vision of the Indo-Pacific at the University.
"Delighted to speak on India's Vision of the Indo-Pacific at the prestigious Chulalongkorn University today. Addressed the changes in the landscape, the updated capabilities of players, and the importance of safeguarding the global commons," the Minister said.
Notably, India and Thailand are celebrating 75 years of establishment of diplomatic relations.
Recognizing that a very substantial part of India's interests now lies towards the East, External Affairs Minister Jaishankar said that with this it is clear that New Delhi now looks beyond the Indian Ocean and into the Pacific.
"We envisage a free, open, inclusive, peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific region built on a rules-based international order, sustainable & transparent infrastructure investment, freedom of navigation and over-flight, unimpeded lawful commerce, mutual respect for sovereignty, peaceful resolution of disputes, as well as equality of all nations."
Jaishankar further hailed the ASEAN grouping that noted that India envisages the bloc to be at center of the Indo-Pacific, both literally and substantively.
"Our ASEAN partners will surely note that our interactions with them have grown, not reduced, as a result of Indo-Pacific."
The visiting minister also lauded the Quad bloc as the most prominent plurilateral platform that addresses contemporary challenges and opportunities in the Indo-Pacific.
"We are confident that the entire Indo-Pacific region will benefit from its activities and that is validated by growing recognition of its importance in the international community. If there are reservations in any quarter, these stem from a desire to exercise a veto on the choices of others and possibly a unilateralist opposition to collective and cooperative endeavours."
Furthermore, Jaishankar said that India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway has the potential of creating a completely new axis of economic activity in Asia.
EAM added that though the project has had its fair share of challenges the countries are determined to bring it to an early conclusion. "The prospects for the global order depend on a more equitable and democratic distribution of power and resources. The world must be more multi-polar. Such a multi-polar world must necessarily have a multi-polar Asia at its centre."
The Minister added that this can be achieved only if we Asian countries consolidate "our independence and expand our freedom of choice."
Jaishankar who is in Thailand attended the 9th India-Thailand Joint Commission Meeting and offered prayers at the Devasthana at Bangkok on Thursday morning. Underlining the shared religious and cultural traditions between both countries, the EAM said he received the blessings of Phra Maharajaguru Vidhi.
"Offered prayers this morning at the Devasthana of Bangkok. Received the blessings of Phra Maharajaguru Vidhi. Underlines our shared religious and cultural traditions," Jaishankar said in a tweet.
Jaishankar arrived in Thailand on Tuesday and also met Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and conveyed personal greetings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to him.
The ninth Thailand-India Joint Commission meeting was co-chaired by Jaishankar and Don Pramudwinai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand and jointly inaugurated the Indian Embassy Residency Complex in Bangkok.
Earlier, the 8th Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) between India and Thailand was held on 10 October 2019, in New Delhi. The Indian side was led by Jaishankar and the Thai side was led by Don Pramudwinai, Minister of Foreign Affairs. The JCM was preceded by the Senior Officials Meeting held on October 9, 2019.
The Ministers had a restricted bilateral meeting, which was followed by delegation-level talks. During the meetings, both sides reviewed the progress made in all areas of the bilateral relationship, including political, defence and security, economic and commercial, connectivity, cultural, tourism and people-to-people ties.
Thailand is the Chairman of ASEAN for 2019 and also the country Coordinator for India-ASEAN Strategic Partnership for 2018-21. (ANI)