U.S., South Korean and Indian officials meet to discuss South China Sea – Forward Observer Shop

U.S., South Korean and Indian officials meet to discuss South China Sea

Foreign ministers from India and South Korea met with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in New York, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly under the rubric of India-US-Japan trilateral foreign ministerial meeting.

The officials met just days after Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, traveled to India to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Tillerson and Co. met to discuss China’s aggressive moves in the South China Sea, as well as Beijing’s One Belt One Road project, the latter of which was proposed by current Chinese President Xi Jinping. OBOR, as it is known, is a project focusing on connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian countries. It is an economic development strategy centered on China’s push to take a larger role in global affairs with a China-centered trading network, and it goes hand-in-hand with China’s efforts to dominate the South China Sea.

The three-nation meeting on the sidelines at the UN produced a joint statement of support and universal goals: Security, sovereignty, and respect for international law. “On connectivity initiatives, the importance of basing them on universally recognized international norms, prudent financing, and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity was underlined,” said a statement from India’s Ministry of External Affairs.

What was particularly interesting about the meeting was the MEA’s mention of cooperation between China and Pakistan as it pertained to North Korean nuclear weapons development: “[External Affairs Minister] Sushma Swaraj deplored DPRK’s recent actions and stated that its proliferation linkages must be explored and those involved be held accountable,” an oblique reference to Pakistan and China. [source]

Why it’s on our radar: Information in this article helps satisfy Priority Intelligence Requirement 2 & 3: What are the latest indicators of a U.S.-China and U.S.-North Korea conflict?  Each week in our Strategic Intelligence Summary, we gauge the likelihood and scope of conflict with Russia, China, North Korea, and in the Middle East, and track the latest developments in each region. Subscribe here to receive our premium intelligence products prepared by Intelligence and special operations veterans.

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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