ASEAN Summit: PM Modi holds talks with Japan, Australia and Vietnam counterparts

PM Modi at ASEAN in the Philippines: The Ramayana Connection

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".

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, for his part, emphasized that the ASEAN-EU is ASEAN's largest and only region-to-region full dialogue partnership.

Prime Minister Modi also called for concerted efforts by countries of region to deal with terrorism and extremism.

Tusk noted that the two regional blocs can work together particularly through information-sharing to counter terrorist attacks as well as exchange of best practices in dealing with violent extremism. "Like the EU, ASEAN is vital for stability in the challenging regional context and the time of geopolitical volatility", he said. "It is time that we jointly address this challenge by intensifying cooperation in this crucial area", Modi said. "We reviewed the ground covered on various aspects of India-Japan ties and discussed ways to deepen cooperation between our economies and people", Modi tweeted.

At Tuesday's summit, the APT leaders adopted the Manila Declaration on the 20th Anniversary of ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation which sets the direction and priorities of the cooperation in the coming years.

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 prime minister is on a three-day trip to the Philippines.

The ASEAN region along with India comprises combined population of 1.85 billion people, which is one fourth of the global population and their combined GDP has been estimated at over $3.8 trillion. India's investment in Asean during the same period has been more than $40 billion.

Investment from Asean to India has been over $70 billion in the last 17 years, accounting for more than 17% of India's total foreign direct investment.

RCEP is a 16-nation proposed free trade pact eyed to further strengthen ASEAN markets, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and its major trading partners China, South Korea, Australia, India, Japan and New Zealand.

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