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India to cooperate with US on checkmating China in South China Sea

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 international law.

"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 said.

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.

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