Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
World | By Melba Underwood

Quadrilateral Coalition on the Indo-Pacific

Quadrilateral Coalition on the Indo-Pacific

During their meeting on Monday, the two leaders discussed the comprehensive strategic partnership between the United States and India and their shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region, said the readout.

Earlier in the day, Modi attended the opening ceremony of the ASEAN summit, and visited the Mahaveer Philippine Foundation, a humanitarian cooperation programme between India and the Philippines, and the International Rice Research Institute.

China says it is simply a development project for common prosperity that any country is welcome to join.

There have been concerns over China's growing military presence in the Indo-Pacific and the issue was understood to have figured in a meeting of officials from India, the US, Japan and Australia today under the proposed Quadrilateral coalition of the four countries. The emerging quadrilateral is seen to counter China's aggressive maritime expansion under its Belt and Road initiative.

Trump and his team have given it fresh currency in recent days, starting during stops in Tokyo and Seoul, building on the rhetoric of his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who last month talked of the need to support a "free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific". The communist country's territorial disputes with its maritime neighbours in East and South China Sea and its reluctance to resolve the disputes in accordance with the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS) often prompted the other nations, not only to criticize it for not adhering to the global laws, but also to call for "rules-based order" in Indo-Pacific.

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The Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi issued a press-release after the diplomats of India, Japan, US and China met in Manila on Sunday.

Acknowledging the praise from Trump, Modi said, "In the past few days, wherever President Trump has travelled and whenever an opportunity arose to talk about India, he has expressed very high opinion about India and also things which are full of hope whenever he has spoken about India". The US president's "America First" policy, which led to him pulling his country out of Obama's Trans-Pacific Partnership, has created confusion about his regional intentions.

Apart from this, Geng also explained that this is the time when nations should focus more on peace, development, and cooperation, citing it as the required trend which must be followed. "It is also the trend of the world".

"All relevant parties can put forward their vision and proposal on how to develop cooperation between countries and regions. So I want to congratulate you", Trump told reporters.

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