India - East Asia

Chronology from Jan 2021 to Dec 2021

: India’s Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla pays a two-day working visit to Myanmar for discussions on humanitarian support, security and India-Myanmar border concerns, and the political situation in Myanmar with the State Administration Council, political parties and members of civil society.

: Vuong Dinh Hue, president of the National Assembly of Vietnam leads a parliamentary delegation to India to mark the fifth anniversary of their Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and to look forward to the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations to be celebrated in 2022. India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar addressed the delegation during their stay.

: Second Deputy Director of National Security of the Republic of Korea Kim Hyoung-zhin visits New Delhi for the Third India-Republic of Korea Strategic Dialogue between the National Security Council Secretariats of India and the ROK.

: Mongolian parliamentary delegation led by Gombojav Zandanshatar, chairman of the State Great Hural, visits India and meets India’s President Ram Nath Kovind who reportedly told the delegation that “As Mongolia’s ‘third [neighbor]’ and ’spiritual [neighbor],’ India looks forward to continued cooperation to further deepen its strategic partnership with Mongolia.”

: Minister of State for External Affairs Rajkumar Ranjan Singh holds virtual interaction with Hon. Kandhi A. Elieisar, Secretary (Minister), Department of Foreign Affairs of the Federated States of Micronesia to review bilateral relations, development cooperation between India and FSM, including through the Forum for India-Pacific Island Cooperation (FIPIC), and climate action.

: 18th Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Russian Federation, the Republic of India, and the People’s Republic of China (RIC) is held via video-conference. A 35-paragraph communique was issued on issues ranging from the global pandemic to Syria.

: India and Vietnam hold the 11th round of Political Consultations and the eighth round of strategic dialogue between their foreign ministries. Both sides expressed “satisfaction over the sustained momentum in their multifaceted bilateral relations, despite the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, with frequent high-level engagements through virtual platform.”

: Modi meets President of Indonesia Joko Widodo on the sidelines of G20 Summit. The tone of bilateral relations was lukewarm, with a statement saying simply that the “leaders held discussions on the recent course of India-Indonesia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership” and “emphasized the importance of Indo-Pacific cooperation.” India and Indonesia, along with Italy, will form the “troika” of the G20 during 2022-2023 when India will host the G20 Summit.

: Modi and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong meet on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Rome, for their first in-person meeting in the post-pandemic period. Topics of discussion reportedly included “global efforts to combat climate change and the forthcoming COP26,” “efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic through expedited vaccination efforts and ensuring supply of critical medicines”, and “ways to enhance people to people ties, including early normalization of movement between both countries.”

: Modi virtually attends the 18th ASEAN-India Summit, hosted by ASEAN Chair Brunei Darussalam, marking his ninth “attendance” at the annual event. The two sides issue a final statement entitled “ASEAN-India Joint Statement on Cooperation on the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific for Peace, Stability, and Prosperity in the Region.”

: Along with the United States, India co-hosts the 4th Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF) and India’s External Affairs Minister provides brief opening remarks.

: Modi attends the 16th East Asia Summit held virtually and makes brief remarks.

: Modi and Japan’s new Prime Minister Kishida Fumio hold a brief telephone call following the latter taking office. The two leaders reportedly “expressed satisfaction at the rapid progress in the Special Strategic and Global Partnership between India and Japan,”  “agreed on the potential to further enhance cooperation in a variety of areas, including in high-technology and futuristic sectors,” and “discussed the increasing alignment of perspectives, and robust cooperation, between India and Japan in the Indo-Pacific region. They reviewed the progress of cooperation under the Quad framework in this regard.” Modi invited “Japanese companies to benefit from India’s economic reforms through greater investment” and Kishida to visit India at his earliest convenience for a bilateral Summit meeting.”

: Modi participates in the first in-person Quad Leaders’ Summit for which India’s Ministry of External Affairs provides a readout. In addition to issuing a Quad Joint Statement,  a Fact Sheet is also issued. The White House also provides a video of the opening session.

: Modi meets President Biden, during which they “exchanged views about the Indo-Pacific region, and reaffirmed their shared vision for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.”

: Modi has first in-person meeting with  Japanese Prime Minister Suga.

: Modi has first in-person meeting with Australia’s PM Morrison while they both visit the United States.

: Prime Minister Modi travels to the United States to address the UN, participate in the first in-person leaders-level Quad Summit, and hold bilateral talks with the US, Japan, and Australia.

: India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar meets Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of the 21st SCO Meeting of the Heads of State in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

: India-Australia first 2+2 Dialogue held in-person in New Delhi with Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defense Minister Peter Dutton. A joint statement is released, focusing on three broad topics: cooperation during the COVID-19 pandemic; shared vision for the Indo-Pacific, regional, and multilateral cooperation; and strengthening bilateral cooperation. Following the dialogue, the two Australian ministers called on Prime Minister Modi during which bilateral relations were discussed and Modi “renewed his invitation to Prime Minister Morrison to visit India at his earliest convenience.”

: India and Japan hold their 6th Maritime Dialogue.

: Quad Senior Officials Meeting is held by video conference. Each participant country—India, Australia, Japan, and the United States—issues a statement about the meeting.

: India and Singapore conduct 15th round of Foreign Office Consultations. In addition to discussing bilateral issues, the consultations took place in the context of Singapore taking over as country coordinator for India at ASEAN for a three-year period from 2021-2024.

: India’s Minister of State for External Affairs Rajkumar Ranjan Singh leads India’s delegation to the 28th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Foreign Ministers Meeting held virtually.

: India issues statement on India-China “Disengagement at Patrolling Point 17A” in the wake of the 12thround of Corps Commanders talks. It says “both sides agreed on disengagement in the area of Gogra” where troops have been in a face-off situation since May 2020 and that both sides have ceased forward deployments in this area in a phased, coordinated and verified manner.

: Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott visits India in capacity of Australian prime minister’s special trade envoy for India. On Aug. 5, he meets Modi to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral trade, investment and economic cooperation to realize the full potential of the India-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

: India and China conduct the 12th round of talks between their corps commanders at Chushul Moldo Meeting Point in Eastern Ladakh.

: Blinken makes first trip to India as secretary of State. He meets External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, national security advisor and holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Modi. Jaishankar said at a post-meeting media briefing that “On the other side of India, the Indo Pacific presents a different set of challenges to stability, growth and prosperity. Under the aegis of the quad framework, we are engaged on maritime security, HADR counterterrorism, connectivity and infrastructure, cyber and digital concerns, COVID-19 response, climate action, education, and resilient and reliable supply chains. The secretary and I discussed not only opportunities for further collaboration on all these issues, but also the importance of observing international law, rules and norms, including UNCLOS. Our ability to work more closely, bilaterally, in the Quad and elsewhere, benefits the international community as a whole.”

: India’s Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar holds meetings with Chinese Foreign MinisterWang Yi on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

: India’s foreign secretary travels to New York for meetings at the United Nations, including a meeting with the US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas Greenfield.

: PM Modi has phone call with Pham Minh Chinh, prime minister of Vietnam. Modi congratulated Pham Minh Chinh on his appointment as prime minister, expressed confidence that the India-Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership will continue to become stronger, that the India-Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership can contribute to promoting regional stability, prosperity, and development, as well as their similar vision of an open, inclusive, peaceful, and rules-based Indian Ocean Region, thanking him for assistance during the second wave of COVID-19 in India, and noting that 2022 will mark 50 years of bilateral relations and invites the Vietnamese prime minister for a visit.

: MoS V. Muraleedharan, holds virtual interaction with Vice President and Minister of State, J. Uduch Sengebau Senior, of the Republic of Palau. The Ministers reviewed bilateral relations including through the Forum for India Pacific Island Cooperation (FIPIC).

: India and Indonesia hold sixth round of foreign office-level consultations following a gap of almost two years. They review the state of their Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and strengthen their Shared Vision of Maritime Co-operation in the Indo-Pacific.

: India and Fiji sign an MoU for cooperation in agriculture and allied sectors.

: MoS V. Muraleedharan and Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Singapore Sim Ann hold a virtual interaction. MoS “thanked the Singaporean government for facilitating supply of relief material, especially oxygen tanks, which were sent to India for fighting the COVID19 pandemic.” They also “expressed commitment to further strengthen India-Singapore Strategic Partnership.”

: India’s Minister of State (MoS) for External Affairs and Parliamentary Affairs Shri V. Muraleedharan holds virtual meeting with Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia H.E. Mahendra Siregar. MoS thanked the Indonesian government for relief materials sent to India for fighting COVID19. Both leaders expressed commitment to further strengthen India-Indonesia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

: India and New Zealand hold the third round of foreign office consultations.

: Jaishankar visits the US for discussions with Secretary of State Blinken, other Cabinet members and senior officials of the Biden administration dealing with bilateral relations. He has interactions with business forums on economic and COVID-related cooperation between India and the US.

: PM Modi and Australian PM Scott Morrison have a telephone call in which Modi “sought Australia’s support for the initiative taken at the WTO by India and South Africa to seek a temporary waiver under TRIPS in [the] context [of the second wave of COVID-19].”

: India issues statement noting US support for the initiative of India and South Africa at the World Trade Organization (WTO) for relaxation in norms of the agreement on TRIPS.

: India, Australia, and France hold their first-ever trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G7 foreign ministers meeting in London. A Joint Statement is released but not available on the Australia DFAT website as of Dec. 21, 2021.

: India’s EAM S. Jaishankar and China’s FM Wang Yi spoke by phone to discuss cooperation on the second wave of COVID-19 emergency in India, as well as border disputes.

: 23rd India-ASEAN Senior Officials meeting is held online.

: Modi and Japan’s Prime Minister Suga speak by phone on a range of topics.

: Prime Minister Modi and US President Biden have phone conversation on bilateral and international issues.

: 11th Round of the India-China Corps Commanders conference held online.

: Government of India issues a statement regarding the passage of United States navy ship, the USS John Paul Jones, through India’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

: India and Vietnam hold second maritime security dialogue in a virtual format.

: ROK Minister of Defense Suh Wook visits India for talks with India’s Defense Minister, Rajnath Singh.

: First Quad Virtual Leaders’ Summit releases a Joint Statement “The Spirit of the Quad” and the publication of a more detailed fact sheet.

: India and China hold the 21st meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Cooperation on Border Affairs via video.

: India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds telephone call with Japan’s Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide.

: India’s External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar, and ROK’s new Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chung Eui-yong, hold their first telephone consultation.

: India’s External Minister S. Jaishankar and China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi hold a 75-minute telephone call in which they discuss border disputes, dis-engagement after clashes in 2020, and agree to establish a hotline.

: India, Australia, and France Trilateral Senior Officials Meeting reviews and discusses cooperation on Maritime Security, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), Blue Economy, Protection of Marine Global Commons, Combating Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) Fishing, and Cooperation in Multilateral forums.

: 10th Round of the India-China Corps Commanders Level meeting is held online.

: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and foreign ministers of Australia, India, and Japan (the “Quad”) speak together for the first time since the Biden administration began.

: India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Brunei Second Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohd. Yusof hold a telephone consultation “to take stock of bilateral relations.”

: Ninth Round of India-Japan Consultations on Disarmament, Non-Proliferation and Export Control are held virtually.

: India issues three-sentence statement on the military coup in Myanmar, noting “developments … with deep concern” and expressing the belief that “the rule of law and democratic process must be upheld.”

: India and Japan hold  5th round of  “Act East Forum,” which focuses on cooperation in India’s northeast states.

: India’s External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar outlines stabilization of Sino-Indian relation’s three determinants (mutual respect, mutual sensitivity, and mutual interest) and eight principles (adherence to past agreements in their entirety; strict observance and respect for the LAC; maintenance of peace and tranquility in border areas; recognition that a multi-polar Asia is an essential constituent of a multi-polar world; reciprocity in relationships; pursuit of aspirations by both with sensitivity; management of divergences and disputes; and taking the long view) in a keynote speech at the 13th All India Conference of China Studies.

: India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and Singapore’s Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen, hold 5th India-Singapore Defense Ministers’ Dialogue. A statement issued after the meeting highlights “the Signing of the Implementing Agreement on Submarine Rescue Support and Cooperation … between the Indian Navy and Republic of Singapore Navy.”

: 13th India-Vietnam Defense Security Dialogue is co-chaired by Indian Defense Secretary Dr. Ajay Kumar and his Vietnamese counterpart Sr. Lt. Gen. Nguyen Chi Vinh, deputy Defense minister.

: First Korea-India High-level Policy Consultation on Global Issues is held.

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