With a view to checkmate China's ambitious programmes in the South China
Sea, India and the US on Tuesday called for freedom of navigation and resolving
of territorial and maritime disputes peacefully in accordance with
"In the Indo-Pacific region, in order to maintain peace, stability and
prosperity in the region, this is also another objective of our strategic
cooperation," Prime Minister Narendra Modi told reporters at the Rose Garden
of the White House after his maiden meeting with President Donald Trump.
An India-US joint statement on the meeting said as responsible stewards in
the Indo-Pacific region, Trump and Modi agreed that a close partnership between
the United States and India is central to peace and stability in the region.
"Recognising the significant progress achieved in these endeavours,
the leaders agreed to take further measures to strengthen their
partnership," the joint statement said.
In accordance with the tenets outlined in the UN Charter, they committed to
a set of common principles for the region, according to which sovereignty and
international law are respected and every country can prosper, the statement
To this end, Trump and Modi reiterated the importance of respecting freedom
of navigation, overflight, and commerce throughout the region, it said.
China claims sovereignty over all of the South China Sea. Vietnam,
Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims.
Modi and Trump called upon all nations to resolve territorial and maritime
disputes peacefully and in accordance with international law.
They also called for support in bolstering regional economic connectivity
through the transparent development of infrastructure and the use of
responsible debt financing practices, while ensuring respect for sovereignty
and territorial integrity, the rule of law, and the environment.