K Natarajan, the director general of the Indian Coast Guard, was elected as the next executive director of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP), in what is a major win for India against China. Singapore is the regional organization’s headquarters.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar congratulated Natarajan, saying that the award is a fitting recognition of India’s contribution to maritime security.
“Congratulate DG Coast Guard for his election as the next Executive Director of ReCAAP, Singapore. A fitting recognition of our contribution to maritime security,” Jaishankar said in a tweet.
Congratulate DG Coast Guard for his election as the next Executive Director of ReCAAP, Singapore. A fitting recognition of our contribution to maritime security.— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) August 5, 2021
Out of a total of 21 ReCAAP member countries, the Indian candidate received a two-thirds majority vote. The Philippines received three votes, while China received four. The new executive director is expected to take over in 2022.
According to preliminary results, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka supported the Modi administration, while other Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand voted for China, and Singapore favoured the Philippines. Client states like Cambodia and Laos voted overwhelmingly in favour of Beijing.
Diplomats said almost all western countries, including members of the Quad – such as the United States, Australia, and Japan – voted for India. Other western countries that voted for India included Denmark, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Germany, and Norway.
ReCAAP is Asia’s first regional government-to-government agreement to promote and strengthen collaboration in the fight against piracy and armed theft of ships.
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