Philippines, India to boost maritime security cooperation

The Philippine foreign minister has held talks with his Indian counterpart in Manila following recent confrontations between Chinese and Philippine vessels in the South China Sea.

The two diplomats agreed to boost security and maritime cooperation between their two countries on Tuesday.
Manila is apparently trying to rein in China, which has adopted a more assertive stance in the disputed waters.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo said the two countries "are having extensive discussions regularly on defense cooperation."

Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said they agreed that the region must adhere to a rules-based order.

On Monday, an Indian coast guard ship arrived in Manila for a three-day port call.

Manila says twice this month, Chinese coast guard ships fired water cannons at Philippine resupply vessels, causing injuries among the crew.
The Philippines summoned a Chinese diplomat to protest what it called Beijing's aggressive actions.

Ties between India and China have also taken a turn for the worse. The two countries have been at odds over a disputed border region in the Himalayas.

Then in January, China announced it was upgrading its ties with the Maldives, in a move that is seen as an attempt to expand its presence in the Indian Ocean.
India and China have been competing for influence over the island nation.