17th East Asia Summit (EAS)

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    • The Vice President of India recently addressed the 17th East Asia Summit (EAS) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

    Highlights of the meeting

    • Issues of Indo-Pacific region:
      • India’s Vice President emphasized the role of the EAS mechanism in promoting free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific with freedom of navigation and overflight
      • China’s aggression: 
        • The US, India and several other world powers have been discussing the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China’s rising military maneuvering in the region.
        • Issues:
          • China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it. 
          • Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea. 
          • China also has territorial disputes with Japan in the East China Sea.
      • Opposition by other groupings & nations:
        • The Quad grouping of India, Australia, Japan and the United States has strongly opposed any unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo or increase tensions in the Indo-Pacific.
    • Other global concerns:
      • The Vice President also talked about the growing global concerns in the food and energy sector. 
      • He also urged for the contribution of members of the East Asia Summit to the International Year of Millets.

    International Year of Millets – 2023

    • About:
      • The United Nations, at the behest of the Government of India, declared 2023 the International Year Millets.
    • Aim:
      • The aim is to create awareness and increase production & consumption of millets. 
    • India’s National Year of Millets & proposal to UN:
      • In 2018 the government of India had decided to mark the National Year of Millets
        • India pitched the proposal to the United Nations for declaring 2023 as the International Year of Millets.
        • With the support of 72 other countries, India’s initiative to promote millet was recognized and the United Nations General Assembly has recently declared the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets.
    • Significance:
      • Millets have been an integral part of our diet for centuries. 
      • In addition to a plethora of health benefits, millets are also good for the environment with low water & input requirements.

    More about The East Asia Summit (EAS)

    • About:
      • The East Asia Summit (EAS) is the Indo-Pacific’s premier forum for strategic dialogue. 
      • It is the only leader-led forum at which all key Indo-Pacific partners meet to discuss political, security and economic challenges facing the region, and has an important role to play in advancing closer regional cooperation.
    • Origin:
      • The concept of East Asia Grouping was first promoted in 1991 by the then Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir bin Mohamad. 
    • Members:
      • The EAS has 18 members – the ten ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) along with Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States. 
      • India: 
        • India is one of the founding members of the East Asia Summit.
    • Lead & the Chair position:
      • ASEAN leads the forum, and the chair position rotates between ASEAN Member States annually. 

    Importance of East Asia

    • Important Nations: 
      • The eastern region of Asia consists of the Asian nations, Greater China (Greater China consists of the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), Japan, Mongolia, North Korea and South Korea.
    • Economic benefit: 
      • It represents nearly 50 per cent of the world’s population with 20 percent of global trade, and comprising 16 nations that are on a dynamic path of economic development.
    • Regional Security: 
      • Considering tension on the Korean Peninsula, South China and in the Taiwan Strait, among others, it is vital for Japan, China and South Korea to maintain a common stance and to share a common concern for security in the East Asian region.
    • Global Implications: 
      • An East Asia community would play a big role in instilling a sense of responsibility in Asian countries and in leading them jointly in contributing to the resolution of global issues.

    ‘Hall of Dancers’ at Cambodian city of Siem Reap

    • Inauguration of ‘Hall of Dancers’:
      • After addressing the EAS summit, the Vice President inaugurated the completed conservation work of ‘Hall of Dancers’ in Ta Prohm Temple.
        • It is located in the Angkor archaeological complex in the Cambodian city of Siem Reap
    • India – Cambodia collaboration Project:
      • The Hall of Dancers is part of a $4-million collaborative project between India and Cambodia for the preservation and restoration of cultural heritage in Cambodia.
      • The restoration work at the sprawling and quiet Buddhist monastery of Ta Prohm has been completed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
        • Restoration work was commenced in the year 2011.
    • Angkor Heritage Park:
      • Angkor Heritage Park has several of the world’s most renowned places such as the Angkor Wat temple, one of the 10 man-made wonders of the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site.
    • Ta Prohm Temple:
      • The temple was built between the mid-12th century and early 13th century by the Khmer king Jayavarman VII. Initially constructed as a Buddhist monastery, it was dedicated by King Jayavarman VII to his mother.

    Source: IE