President Widodo, Entourage Arrive in Manila to Attend the ASEAN Summit

PM Modi leaves for three-day visit to Philippines to attend ASEAN summit, meeting with Trump likely

PM Narendra Modi to meet President Donald Trump tomorrow in Manila on ASEAN sidelines

Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc arrived in Manila, the Philippines on Sunday to attend the 31st ASEAN Summit and related meetings from November 12-14 which are set to focus on orientations and measures for enhancing connectivity to realise the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

U.S. secretary of state Rex Tillerson made several references to the "Indo-Pacific region" in a speech at a think tank in Washington last month. The India-Asean Summit brings together, India, the US, Japan and Australia to revive an alliance called the Quadrilateral.

More recently, United States president Donald Trump referred to the term several times when he spoke to a group of business representatives from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) grouping in Na Dang in Vietnam on Friday.

Also, the next year marks the 15th anniversary of the China-ASEAN strategic partnership, and a new page is to be turned on relations between China and the 10-nation bloc.

Harsh V. Pant, professor of global relations at King's College London said that the idea of a quadrilateral grouping, first proposed in 2007, "has now bounced back with a vigour few would have expected just a year ago".

The Indian prime minister will be accompanied by top diplomatic and security officials during his visit to Manila including National Security Advisor Ajit Doval And Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.

Foreign Affairs spokesman Robespierre Bolivar said the leaders on November 13 are expected to take note of the adoption and to announce the formal start of the negotiations of the actual COC that was adopted last August 6 during a meeting of foreign ministers in Manila.

In their meeting, Modi and Trump are likely to discuss a host of key issues of mutual interest including the security scenario in the region. This is seen as a move to counter China's large scale infrastructure building spree in countries of Southeast Asia to Africa under the Belt and Road Initiative.

The agenda is committed to boost regional trade and combating terrorism and strengthen ties with Indo- Pacific Region and ASEAN.

Also on the cards is a bilateral meeting with the President of Philippines and the current chair of the ASEAN, Rodrigo Duterte.

India has been supporting freedom of navigation and access to resources in the South China Sea in accordance with principles of worldwide law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

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