New Delhi: India today called for a regional framework for security management to peacefully resolve disputes, threat and use of force in the Indo-Pacific region, amid China flexing its muscles in the area to advance its maritime claims against its Asian neighbours.
"Regional framework for security management must enshrine a commitment to the peaceful resolution of disputes, the threat or use of force," said Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in his address at the 15th Shangri-La Dialogue here.
He also called for collective efforts to tackle terrorism which remains the foremost challenge to the region.
"The security framework in our region still do not give enough attention to terrorism. This must change," Parrikar said.
"Collective action and cooperation is the way forward to deal with the maritime threat, like terrorism, piracy and natural disaster," said the minister, adding that such cooperation will build trust and confidence.
"We need to oppose terrorism resolutely everywhere," said Parrikar, calling for resolute efforts by all to destroy the terrorism.
Terrorism remains the foremost challenge to the region. Networks of radicalism and terrorism as well as the whole structure in the region and beyond continue to pose a threat to all peace loving societies.
Noting sensitivities of disputes and concern about growing tension, Parrikar highlighted India's blue economy initiative and prosperity of the region.
"We are also building economic cooperation with maritime neighbours to reap the benefit of blue economy," he said.
Parrikar said there is no doubt that the Indo Pacific region, from East of Suez to Asia Pacific shores, will remain the driver of global prosperity for decades to come.
"India's contribution as the fastest growing major economy in the world, will be a significant factor in ensuring this.
"I am equally confident that the countries of the region will rise to the challenge and tackle the security threat it faces," said Parrikar.
He also touched on the South China Sea and stressed "While we do not take positions on territorial disputes which should be resolve peacefully without the threat or use of force, we firmly uphold freedom of navigation and over flights in accordance with international law in particular the UN convention on law of sea.