Trump praises India's growth story, PM Modi at APEC Summit

Fatma Samoura Rajyavardhan Rathore Narendra Modi Praful Patel Seikh Salman

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi met the India U-17 football team, that created history by becoming the first Indian team to participate in a FIFA World Cup, at the Prime Minister's office in New Delhi on Friday.

Trump and Prime Minister Modi are scheduled to attend the East Asia Summit beginning next week. "Since India opened its economy, it has achieved astounding growth and a new world of opportunity for its expanding middle class", Trump said at a gathering of CEOs on the sidelines of the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit here in Vietnam.

Ahead of his Asia trip, Trump used the phrase "Indo-Pacific" multiple times, indicating his pro-India leaning.

The two leaders are understood to have discussed the security scenario in the region besides several other issues of mutual interests, including ways to further boost bilateral trade.

The move to set up the quadrilateral alliance comes in the backdrop of growing Chinese assertiveness in the South China Sea.

The US President also pointed out that India was celebrating the 70th anniversary of its independence and highlighted that the country was a sovereign democracy with a population of 1.3 billion as well as the largest democracy in the world.

According to some reports, while praising India the USA president attacked China, saying that Beijing's trade practices have kicked Americans out of jobs.

The Trump administration views India favourably and sees the nation as a success story, which was reflected in Washington's latest South Asia strategy, where the U.S. is putting intense pressure on Pakistan to act against terror organisations on its soil, and strengthening India as a counterbalance to China in the Indo-Pacific region.

Reports state that the East Asia Summit is expected to echo India's longstanding position on the need for joint efforts to counter terrorism globally and adopt declarations to this effect. "The story of this region in recent decades is the story of what is possible when people take ownership of their future".

Sending a strong message on trade, Trump said that the United States could no longer tolerate chronic trade abuses and would insist on fair and equal policies.

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