India, US, Japan push for cooperation for free and inclusive Indo-Pacific region
India, the US and Japan pushed for bolstering cooperation for an open, free and inclusive Indo-Pacific region at their ninth trilateral meeting here on Wednesday.
The meeting comes at a time when China is asserting itself aggressively in the neighbourhood and the three countries along with Australia are working to give shape to the Quadrilateral grouping, or the Quad, to keep critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of Chinese influence.
“The officials explored practical steps to enhance cooperation in the areas of connectivity and infrastructure development; counter-proliferation; counter-terrorism; maritime security,” a joint statement said.
Senior officials from the three countries held talks in accordance with the directions given by the foreign ministers, who met in New York on September 18, 2017.
The officials also reviewed the outcomes of the ‘Trilateral Infrastructure Working Group’ that met in Washington in February and agreed to continue to collaborate to promote increased connectivity in the region.
US President Donald Trump, in his first televised address to the nation as commander-in-chief last year, had laid out his South Asia policy, saying a “critical part” of it was to develop America’s strategic partnership with India.
The term Indo-Pacific has gained currency recently, with its usage growing across diplomatic and security circles in US, Australia, India and Japan.