The Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan represented India at the 10th East Asia Summit held virtually on international and regional developments including COVID-19 pandemic.
The meeting discussed ways and means to strengthen the East Asia Summit platform. It aims to make it more responsive to the emerging challenges in its 15th anniversary. The ministers during the meet exchanged their views on speedy and sustainable recovery from COVID-19.
The 10th East Asia Summit also reviewed the status of commitments made under East Asia Summit framework. It also reviewed the progress in the Manila Plan of Action
Manila Action Plan
The plan is being implemented between 2018 and 2022. It aims to implement Phnom Penh Declaration of the East Asia Summit Development Initiative. It was adopted by the leaders in 2012.
East Asia Summit
It was established in 2005. The first East Asia Summit was held in Kuala Lumpur, 2005. The East Asia Summit represents 50% of the world population, 20% of global trade. It is considered as the third pole of world economy after Europe and US. The four major economic players at the summit are China, Japan, India and Korea.
The China-Japan rift is the biggest concern of the East Asia Summit. Now China-India rivalry is also increasing. The other major concern is its relationship with APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation).
For India, the summit acts as an alternative to APEC. EAS will prove crucial to India in implementing its Act East Policy. With China’s assertiveness in South China Sea, ASEAN countries view India as a potential power to balance a rising China.
India is keen in monetary integration of the East Asia region. Also, EAS is important for India to implement connectivity projects such as India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway.