Oceans should not become new theatres of contests: PM Narendra Modi

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Singapore, Nov 23:  Amid a standoff between China and some East Asian nations over South China Sea, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said oceans, space and cyberworld should not become "new theatres of contests" but be the avenues of "shared prosperity" and offered to work in this direction.

Delivering a lecture here, he talked about how India and China have kept their border region peaceful and stable despite the "unresolved issues", including the boundary question between the two countries.

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"In the flux and transition of our times, the most critical need in this region is to uphold and strengthen the rules and norms that must define our collective behaviour," he said.

"We must all come together, in East Asia Summit and other forums, to build a cooperative and collaborative future, not on the strength of a few, but on the consent of all," Modi said in his 20-minute '37th Singapore Lecture -- India's Singapore Story' -- soon after his arrival on a two-day visit.

In an apparent reference to the standoff between China and some East Asian Nations over South China Sea, he said, "India will work with countries in the region and beyond, including the US and Russia, our East Asia Summit partners, to ensure that our commons - ocean, space and cyber – remain avenues of shared prosperity, not become new theatres of contests."

The statement is significance as tensions are growing over South China Sea with the US now getting involved and China warning it to keep away.

PTI

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