India Summit: Modi calls for efforts to uproot terrorism

Narendra Modi Shinzo Abe

Maintaining to blow hot and cold policy towards China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday held an one-on-one meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the sidelines of ASEAN and East Asia Summits even as official spokesperson could not divulge details of their "lounge talks".

In his inaugural speech at the highly fortified Cultural Centre in Manila, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte talked about various challenges facing the region and identified terrorism and violent extremism as threats that "know no boundaries".

The issue of China's aggressive posturing figured prominently during the ASEAN summit also. "Like the EU, ASEAN is vital for stability in the challenging regional context and the time of geopolitical volatility", he said. China claims sovereignty over nearly all of the South China Sea, a huge source of hydrocarbons.

It is worth mentioning that like the US; India too has been supporting freedom of navigation and access to resources in the South China Sea in accordance with principles of global law, including the 1982 UN Convention. However, several Asean members including Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei have counter claims.

India has been supporting freedom of navigation and access to resources in the SCS in accordance with principles of worldwide law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. The talks marked their first since a September meeting in western India and the 11th overall as prime ministers.

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"India, being a founding member of the East Asia Summit, is committed to strengthening the East Asia Summit and making it more effective for dealing with contemporary challenges", it added.

Modi said 1.25 billion people of India are keen to welcome the ASEAN leaders as the chief guests at India's 69th Republic Day Celebrations.

The ties between India and ASEAN have been on an upswing.

The trade between India and ASEAN nations stood at $71 billion in 2016-17 and comprises 10.85 percent of India's total trade with the world.

Prime Minister Modi also participated at a meeting of leaders of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). The participating members of the 12th East Asia Summit are Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, the U.S. and Vietnam.

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