Pence says U.S. committed to Indo-Pacific, not seeking control
Pence says U.S. committed to Indo-Pacific, not seeking control
Prime Minister Modi launches APIX technology in Singapore
15 November, 2018, 07:43
Financial inclusion has become a reality for 1.3 billion Indians with the government launching a number of people-friendly digital platforms, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Wednesday as he pitched India as the "best" investment destination for tech firms at the prestigious Fintech Festival here. "We must extend the security of insurance and pension to more than a billion workers in the informal sectors worldwide, who still do not have it", Prime Minister Modi said in his speech.
"He (Modi) did point out that the mainstreaming of people involved in the Mumbai attacks in a political process which has taken place in the recent elections in Pakistan should be a matter of serious concern not just to the two countries - India and United States - but to global community", Gokhale said, referring to the Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed's party contesting the July 25 elections in Pakistan.
"If Asia matters to America, why is your leader, President Trump, not here?"
However, he added, "It only requires that every nation treat their neighbors with respect, they respect the sovereignty of our nations and the global rules of order".
China and Asean are in talks for a code of conduct to manage differences in South China Sea territo-rial disputes.
"Do not diminish the importance of Mr Pence being here", said Ms Campbell, noting that he made a number of trips to Asia, including one to Jakarta a year ago, where he spent time at the Asean Secretariat.
Pence spoke of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Prof Koh also questioned the United States vision of a "free and open" Indo-Pacific, first announced by Mr Trump at the Apec summit in Vietnam previous year and aimed at defending American interests against China's ever-growing presence.
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The US officials at the conference defended Mr Trump's decision to send Mr Pence in his place, calling him a close associate who would effectively deliver Mr Trump's message that Asean is central to US policies in the region. "Strong military activity will prompt a response from China".
The discussions touched upon bilateral relations as well as regional and worldwide issues.
China's claims in the South China Sea, through which some $3 trillion of shipborne trade passes each year, are contested by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. That trade pact is due to take effect on December 30.
The U.S. also is not part of another, Southeast Asian centered grouping of 16 countries called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which does include China, India, Australia and most other Asian economies.
On Wednesday, the leaders pushed back a final agreement on that 16-nation free trade deal until 2019.
He also met visiting Asean leaders during the United Nations annual meetings in NY in September.
While the Singapore meetings were typically focused on cooperation and goodwill, concerns over Myanmar's treatment of its ethnic Rohingya Muslims flared with unusually sharp comments to the country's leader, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
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