Prime Minister Narendra Modi, arrived in Manila on Sunday on a three-day visit to attend the ASEAN-India and East Asia summits where he is likely to reassert India's push for crafting a global approach to deal with growing challenge of terrorism and radicalisation besides pitching for steps to boost regional trade.
The thorny issue of China's aggressive military manoeuvre in the disputed South China Sea, the North Korean nuclear missile tests and overall security architecture in the region will come up for discussion during the summit that begins on Tuesday, diplomats said.
On the sidelines of the main events, Modi is likely to have a series of bilateral meetings with a number of leaders, including the US President,Donald Trump, the Japanese Prime Minister,Shinzo Abe, the Australian Prime Minister,Malcolm Turnbull and the Russian Premier,Dmitry Medvedev.
A host of leaders, including the Myanmar State Counsellor,Aung San Suu Kyi, the Cambodian Prime Minister,Hun Sen, the Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak, the Singaporean Prime Minister,Lee Hsien Loong, and the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have already arrived in the city to attend deliberations at the Association of Southeast Asia Nations, (ASEAN) ), a grouping of 10 influential countries.
The ties between India and ASEAN have been on an upswing in the last few years with focus being on ramping up cooperation in the areas of trade and investment as well as security and defence. 'Every single country in the ASEAN region wants India to be more engaged in the region in every possible way. That is the real synergy we have with ASEAN, the Indian Ambassador to Philippines,Jaideep Mazumdar, said.
The US, France and Japan have been pitching for a larger role by India in the strategically key Indo-Pacific region where China has been trying to increase its military presence.
Majumdar said terrorism is going to be one of the issues that will be discussed not only during the ASEAN summit but also at the East Asia summit. He said several documents are going to be adopted with an aim to contain terrorism including one on stopping money laundering for the purpose of terrorism.
While ASEAN summit is likely to focus more on trade and investment related issues, leaders at the East Asia Summit are expected to delve deep into issues relating to maritime security, terrorism, non-proliferation and migration.
Apart from the 10 ASEAN Member states, the East Asia Summit includes India, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the US and Russia.
Modi will address the ASEAN-India and East Asia summits on Tuesday and he would also take part in special celebrations of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN.
India's proposal to host an international conference on countering radicalization may also be discussed during the deliberations at Manila.