The Straits Times
Published on Dec 21, 2012

ASEAN wants India's help in China disputes


NEW DELHI (AFP) - Southeast Asian countries on Thursday urged India to intervene to help resolve bitter territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea, saying it was "crucial" to maintaining peace and stability.

ASEAN called on India - which vowed to promote co-operation on trade and maritime security with the countries - to take a more decisive stance in the region.

Vietnamese Premier Nguyen Tan Dung asked for New Delhi's direct intervention over South China Sea territorial disputes while Myanmar President Thein Sein said India's role was "crucial" to ensuring peace and stability in the region.

But India's foreign minister insisted the issue did not require his country's intervention. China claims most of the South China Sea, including waters close to the shores of its neighbours. These areas include major sea lanes and are believed to hold vast mineral and oil resources.