According to a Deccan Herald news report dated December 29, Beijing is growing increasingly concerned about India’s increasing comments on the South China Sea issue in recent weeks, particularly following Prime Minister Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s first ever joint statement on the South China Sea.
According to the above mentioned report, China has used diplomatic channels both in Beijing and New Delhi to convey its concern, making it it absolutely clear (to India) that it hopes that countries outside the region would respect the efforts made by countries in the region to maintain security and stability in the South China Sea, and not “incite tension and confrontation”.
Modi and Abi’s joint statement on December 12 reflects their solidarity on the South China Sea issue, stating that ”In view of critical importance of the sea lanes of communications in the South China Sea for regional energy security and trade and commerce, which underpins continued peace and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific, the two Prime Ministers, noting the developments in the South China Sea, called upon all States to avoid unilateral actions that could lead to tensions in the region.” According to the Wall Street Journal comment, India is one of the Asian countries to respond to China’s increasingly unyielding stance on the Diaoyu island dispute.
According to the Deccan Herald report, citing information from an important figure in Indian diplomacy, China has conveyed to India that on the question of freedom of navigation and flying aircraft over the South China Sea, the Chinese side has always respected and treated each country on the basis of international law and will continue to do so. The report goes on to state that China has mentioned to India that it will work through negotiations and consultation with strict respect for historical facts and the United Nations Law of the Seas Convention, and will seek peaceful resolution (of disputes) on the basis of international law with its maritime neighbours.