Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday briefly met US President Donald Trump and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the sidelines of a gala dinner to mark the 50th anniversary of the ASEAN.
According to the official sources, PM Modi and US President Trump shall also hold a bilateral meet on Monday, where both leaders are expected to discuss counter-terrorism, trade and the security situation in the Indo-Pacific region.
It will be the first meeting between the two leaders following a proposal to have a quadrilateral alliance among India, the US, Japan, and Australia.
India, Australia, US, Japan hold first meet on 'Quad' coalition to counter rising China
Giving shape to their security cooperation under the proposed quadrilateral coalition, India, the US, Japan and Australia today held their first official- level talks here with a focus on keeping the Indo-Pacific region "free and open", seen as a move to counter China's aggressive behaviour in the area.
Soon after the meeting, India, Australia and Japan issued separate statements listing the Indo-Pacific as the major areaof the deliberations and resolved to expand cooperation to uphold a rules-based order and respect for international lawin the strategically important region.
Japan last month had indicated that it would propose a top-level dialogue with the US, India and Australia. Sources said officials of the four countries may meet on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit in Manila.
Reacting to the Japanese move, India had said that it was open to working with like-minded countries on issues that advance its interests. The US had said it was looking at a "working-level" quadrilateral meeting in the near term with India, Japan and Australia.
The move to set up the quadrilateral comes in the backdrop of growing Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea. The US has been favouring a larger role for India in the strategically key Indo-Pacific region.
The use of the term "Indo-Pacific" by Trump has led to speculation that it may have something to do with Washington preparing the ground for a revival of the so-called Quadrilateral strategic alliance between the US, Japan, Australia and India.
Earlier on Saturday, Trump had praised India's "astounding" growth after it opened up its economy and also lauded Modi, saying he has been working successfully to bring the vast country and its people together.
The Modi-Abe-Trump trio at Gala dinner:
The trio of PM Narendra Modi, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump was seen chit chatting on Sunday on the sidelines of a gala dinner.
PM also met Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at the reception for the leaders who have arrived in Manila for the 31st ASEAN summit and related meetings.
He also held brief interactions with several other leaders who attended the reception hosted by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at the mega SMX Convention Centre in Pasay City here.
The prime minister, as well as all other leaders, wore Barong Tagalong, an embroidered shirt which is the national dress of the Philippines. Renowned Filipino designer Albert Andrada has designed the shirts.
Modi also tweeted pictures of his interaction with several leaders. The menu of the gala dinner featured various Filipino cuisines including Filipino steak sushi.
(With PTI Inputs)