India, the US and Japan are holding their first trilateral meeting later in the day in Washington in what is being widely seen as a move to coordinate push back against a common competitor — China.
All three countries are seeking to enlarge their respective roles in the Asia-Pacific region, with the US pushing most aggressively. They are members of the East Asia Summit.
The trilateral meeting is being held at the level of officials only—joint secretaries Jawed Ashraf and Gautam Bambwale from India will be meeting counterparts from the US and Japan.
While the three countries will have a lot of talk about trade, economy and nuclear weapons, experts expect China to be the big issue on the table.
At a Track II discussion on the talks in August -- hosted by a think-tank Center for Strategic International Studies -- participants agreed China was a shared concern.
“The United States, Japan and India share concerns at the rapid pace of China’s military modernization and operations, the lack of transparency in this military build-up, its assertive posture and questions about China’s intentions with respect to territorial disputes, cyberspace, and outer space,” the CSIS said in a statement on the talks, which were off-record.