Rajnath Singh Signs Joint Security Declaration at ASEAN Meet

By Jyoti Kalash

The Defence Minister flagged the threats of bioterrorism and cyber terrorism in the presence of China and advocated self-restraint at the ADMM-Plus.

Rajnath Singh addressed the ASEAN Defence Minister Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus) via video conference. | Source: ANI

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh signed a joint declaration by the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADDM-Plus) countries on strategic security vision on the 10th anniversary of the platform’s foundation.

Thinly Veiled Criticism of China

Singh raised the issues of bioterrorism, pandemic diseases, maritime security and cyber-related crimes at the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) meeting and said that these need to be addressed as a forum. Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe was also among those who attended the virtual meeting, according to PTI.

These have widely been read as India’s indirect references to China amid their ongoing border standoff in the Ladakh sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), bilateral discussions around which have hit a stalemate after some initial disengagement. Singh also advocated the exercise of self-restraint in the conduct of activities to avoid further complicating situations and to bring sustained peace, reported PTI.

Singh took a swipe at China, without naming the country, at the meet.

“Amid the current regional environment with visible strains, we appreciate the central role of ASEAN-led forums, including ADMM Plus in promoting dialogue and engagement towards a pluralistic, cooperative security order in Asia,” Singh added. He emphasised the concepts of ‘vasudhaive kutumbakam’ – ‘the whole world is one f