Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday met U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis in Singapore, days after the Pentagon renamed its Pacific Command as Indo-Pacific Command in a largely symbolic move to signal India's importance to the USA military.
Further addressing the Shangri-La dialogue, Prime Minister said that he does not see Indo-Pacific region as a strategy or as a club of limited members.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday left for India after concluding his three-nation visit to Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a visit to Singapore, on Friday delivered the keynote address of the Shangri-La Dialogue.
India's vision for the Indo-Pacific also placed the 10 member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, at the centre of the region as the region seeks "to cooperate for an architecture for peace and security", Modi said. "We are just strengthening our relationship with Japan, and I will speak a bit more of the look east policy", he said of his maiden trip overseas after becoming PM again.
The two leaders also exchanged views on the regional and global challenges and reiterated their principled position on maritime security and expressed commitment to "Rules Based" Order. It also comes days ahead of the US, India and Japan beginning military exercises in the Western Pacific off the coast of Guam. Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims over the area.
The meeting comes days after the Pentagon renamed its Pacific Command as Indo-Pacific Command in a largely symbolic move to signal India's importance to the U.S. military. In 2016, India and the USA had signed a crucial logistics defence pact enabling their militaries to use each other's assets and bases for fix and replenishment of supplies, making joint operations more efficient.
The PM stressed the importance of India's links with each of the major Asia-Pacific powers, including the US, Japan and Australia, and the need for "bridging geography through shared interests".