PM Narendra Modi with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of ASEAN in Manila.
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister since Indira Gandhi to visit Manila, the capital of Philippines, in 36 years. During his trip, he will attend a summit of ASEAN or the Association of South-East Asian Nations, a 10-nation grouping besides India, that's expected to boost trade and defence cooperation. Before a gala dinner on Sunday to mark ASEAN's 50th anniversary, he had one-on-one meetings with US President Donald Trump and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. The US is part of the Quadrilateral - a four-nation alliance including Japan, Australia and India - that is expected to be revived on the sidelines of the summit.
Here are the 10 facts in this big story:
- A series of bilaterals are lined up for Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the leaders of the Quadrilateral -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and US President Donald Trump.
- Ahead of their scheduled bilateral on Monday, PM Modi had a brief interaction with President Trump. The two leaders had last met in June, when President Trump had hosted the Prime Minister at the White House.
- Before leaving for Manila, PM Narendra Modi tweeted that his visit reflects the nation's "commitment to deepening ties with the ASEAN member states and the Indo-Pacific region" as part of India's "Act East Policy".
- The Quadrilateral grouping is expected to boost free trade and defence cooperation across the Indo-Pacific region, where US favours a bigger role by India.
- There have been concerns over China's growing military presence in the Indo-Pacific region. The issue was understood to have figured at the meeting of officials from the quadrilateral nations.
- After the meeting, the foreign ministry tweeted that the officials had "agreed that a free, open, prosperous and inclusive Indo-Pacific region serves the long-term interests of all countries in the region and of the world at large".
- Reacting to the reports of the Quadrilateral meeting, China has said it hoped that the grouping "would not target or damage" a "third party's interest".
- At the pre-dinner reception, PM Modi was also seen talking to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
- All the leaders were dressed in Barong Tagalong -- an embroidered shirt that's the national dress of the Philippines. The menu included an array of Filipino dishes, including steak sushi.
- Trade between India and ASEAN stood at $65.04 billion in 2015-16 and comprises 10.12 per cent of India's total trade with the world. Together, the nations are home to 1.85 billion people - a quarter of the global population.
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