India has always showed its commitment towards checking piracy and maintaining regional peace. Singapore and Thailand did not vote for India but neighbours including Myanmar, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka stood with Modi government

India gave a major defeat to China when the director general of Coast Guard, K Natarajan, was elected as the next executive director of the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP). The regional body has its headquarters in Singapore.

Minister for external affairs Dr S Jaishankar congratulated Natarajan, saying it 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 his tweet.

The Indian candidate obtained two-thirds majority receiving 14 votes out of a total of 21 member countries of ReCAAP. China received four votes and the Philippines got three. The next executive director is expected to take charge in 2022.

The preliminary assessment of the voting showed that Myanmar, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka stood with the Modi government, while other Southeast Asian countries like Thailand voted for China and Singapore preferred the Philippines. Client states like Cambodia and Laos obviously voted for Beijing.

Almost all the western countries, including members of the Quad - like the United States, Australia and Japan - voted for India, the diplomats said. The other western countries like Denmark, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Germany and Norway also voted for India.

ReCAAP is the first regional government-to-government agreement to promote and enhance cooperation against piracy and armed robbery against ships in Asia.

The agreement was launched in November 2006 with 14 Asian contracting parties. The number has increased to 21 today, including European countries like Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark, and the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States.

The 12th governing council meeting in 2018 announced that ReCAAP ISC has met the criteria to be a centre of excellence for information sharing in combating piracy and armed robbery against ships at sea.