East Asia Summit Current Affairs - 2020

East Asia Summit on Maritime Cooperation to be held in Chennai

The Ministry of External Affairs is to organize East Asia Summit in Chennai between February 6, 2020 and February 7, 2020. This is the fifth time the conference is being held in India. The first conference was organized in Delhi in 2015, second in Goa in 2016, third in Bhubaneswar in 2018. In 2019, the fourth conference was held in Bangkok.


The conference is to be held in cooperation with the governments of Australia and Indonesia. More than 100 participants are expected to participate. The Conference will bring upon understanding of all the partners. It will foster the spirit of openness and inclusion.

The summit is important as a guide for ASEAN’s engagement in the Indian Ocean region and Asia Pacific. At the fourteenth East Asia Summit held in 2019, PM Modi mooted the idea of Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative.

About the Summit

The Summit is held annually by 16 nations in the East Asia, South Asia and South East Asia. The first such summit was held in Kuala Lumpur in 2005. US and Russia are also a part of the summit.

Facts Box: Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative

The Indo-Pacific Initiative was proposed by PM Modi for a safe and secure maritime at the East Asia Summit. This indicates that India is ready to play a bigger role in the region where China has been pushing its military assertiveness.

Facts of Indo-Pacific Initiative

  • The idea of the initiative was mooted by the PM when he addressed the East Asia Summit in Thailand.
  • The main objective of the initiative is to achieve safe, secure and a stable maritime domain.
  • The initiative aims to achieve this by creating partnerships among interested states by sustainably using marine resources.
  • To take the initiative forward, India will organize a Indo-Pacific Conclave in Chennai early next year.
  • Japan, Australia and Thailand support the initiative already. And many more ASEAN countries are expected to express their support to the initiative in the near future.
  • The initiative is considered by the experts as an incremental step to the Shangri la dialogue.

Significance of the initiative

  • This will give confidence to minor players of ASEAN that their role in the region will not be diluted
  • It will ensure freedom of navigation, freedom of overflights and the disputed are resolved as per international conventions