NEW DELHI: Amid tensions in the South China Sea region, India on Thursday said it firmly stands for the freedom of navigation and over-flight, and unimpeded lawful commerce in the international waters.
The assertion came amid tensions in the region over a Chinese survey ship antagonising Vietnam since July.
The ship sailed through waters near the Spratly Islands where Vietnam has several oil and gas projects.
Asked about the issue, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, "South China Sea is part of the global commons. India, therefore, has an abiding interest in the peace and stability in the region."
"India firmly stands for the freedom of navigation and over-flight, and unimpeded lawful commerce, in the international waters, in accordance with international laws, notably UNCLOS," he said.
India also believes that any difference must be resolved peacefully by respecting the legal and diplomatic processes, and without resorting to threat or use of force, he said.