Celebrate Ties

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the ASEAN leaders at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi Jan. 25. (IANS/PIB photo)

NEW DELHI — Southeast Asian leaders are celebrating ties with India, as New Delhi looks to deepen bonds with its eastern neighbors amid China’s ever-growing influence.

The leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, met Jan. 25 in New Delhi to observe 25 years of ties between India and the 10-nation bloc. The leaders will also be guests of honor at the Jan. 26 Republic Day celebrations, an important diplomatic distinction for India.

Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and the prime ministers of Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam are among those in India for the celebrations.

India has been carefully boosting its diplomatic profile in recent years, amid its wariness over China’s growth into a major world power.

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