Colombo [Sri Lanka], Sept 2 : The nations in the Indian Ocean region have raised their concerns over the issue of freedom of navigation in the China Sea, stated Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) National General Secretary Ram Madhav, on Friday, at the Indian Ocean Conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
"Where China claimed to be not against freedom of navigation, other nations raised their concerns on the issue of freedom of navigation in China Sea," Ram Madhav told ANI, on the sidelines of the conference.
The BJP leader also said that China tried to put its "point of view" at the conference.
"China said that it considers itself as a member of Indian Ocean, although it does not come in the region of Indian Ocean. But due its working condition, China considers itself as an important part of Indian Ocean," Madhav said on the second day of the three-day event.
Talking about the success of the conference, he said that the one very substantive take home from this conference is the general resolve, which says that the countries of Indian Ocean region should come together and create an "identity for themselves".
"If this happens, then everybody will prosper on an individual and collective basis. It's like creating an Indian Ocean community," he added.
Foreign Secretary Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar while addressing the second Indian Ocean Conference here, on Friday, said that Indian Ocean must be approached with empathy, not as a business.
On the first day of the event (on August 31), External Affair Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj said that safety and security of the Indian Ocean is paramount for New Delhi.
"Our vision for the Indian Ocean region is to preserve its organic unity, while advancing cooperation. We envisage Indian Ocean as an engine for growth and prosperity in our region and beyond. It is of utmost importance that these waters remain safe and secure. This vision was initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March 2015 when we put forward the concept of SAGAR (Security and Growth for all in the Region). This is a clear high level articulation of India's vision for the Indian Ocean," she said at the conference in Colombo.
India Foundation, a Delhi-based think tank in collaboration with Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Singapore, and National Institute of Fundamental Studies (NIFS), Colombo has organized the Indian Ocean Conference 2017.
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