Broader aspects of US President Donald Trump’s South Asia strategy, his views on his ongoing Asia trip, especially on China, bilateral issues — and the visit this month of Ivanka Trump to India. These will form the outline of discussions between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Trump in Manila on Monday afternoon.
While Trump’s daughter and advisor Ivanka is scheduled to attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad from November 28 to 30, sources indicated that the US is also keen to push defence sales. The 45-minute meeting has been scheduled for 3.30 pm local time (1 pm IST) at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel in Manila Bay, where Trump is staying.
Modi and Trump met informally on Sunday evening before a dinner hosted by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte for leaders ahead of the ASEAN summit. “A lot has happened between the Prime Minister’s trip to the White House and now. The South Asia strategy, which was announced in August, has laid out certain red lines for Pakistan. We will be interested to know about Trump’s perception of what Pakistan is doing on taking action against terrorist groups and individuals,” official sources told The Indian Express.
Last month, after Pakistani forces rescued an American-Canadian family from the Haqqani terror network, Trump said that he has started to develop a better relationship with Pakistan.
New Delhi is going to Monday’s bilateral meeting with the expectation that Trump, who had warned Islamabad of consequences if it continues to support terror groups while announcing his Afghan and South Asia policy in August, will “walk the talk”. The two leaders will also discuss the vision of the US’s “Indo-Pacific strategy” and its follow-up actions.
The Indian side is also keen to know more about Trump’s discussions with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing. “Trump’s assessment of China under Xi, in his second term, will be key to understand how the relationship between Washington and Beijing is going to evolve. The fact that he chose to go there, right after the 19th Congress of the Communist Party, signals the importance he attaches to the relationship,” sources said.