The foreign ministers of India, Japan and the US were meeting in New York on Tuesday in the first such trilateral engagement between the three countries with an eye on China’s growing influence in the world.
External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, who would address the United Nations General Assembly on September 30, arrived in the city for the meeting along with her counterparts, US secretary of state John Kerry and Japanese foreign minister Fumio Kishida.
The meeting that elevates a trilateral framework involving officials of the three nations is reflective of their joint strategic vision in the wake of Chinese plans to step up security tie-ups in the Indo-Pacific region.
“I welcome the progress in giving shape to our joint strategic vision on our Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean region, and also our joint engagement with regional partners like Japan,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday during a brief joint media appearance with US President Barack Obama.
India and the US are showing greater convergence in the region in the sphere of strategic issues, especially on the matter of freedom of
navigation in South China Sea, which is pointed at Beijing. And Japan is a treaty ally of the US.
“To further increase our strategic engagement in the region, I look forward to work with the US for India’s membership of the Asian Pacific Economic Community (APEC),” Modi said.
The trilateral dialogue will also focus on maritime security.
“We discussed how we can further refine our strategic vision – our common joint vision moving forward for security and partnerships,” Obama said.