Hanoi: US President Donald Trump on Friday praised India’s “astounding” growth after it opened its economy and also lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he has been working successfully to bring the vast country and its people together.Speaking at a gathering of CEOs on the sidelines of the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit here in Vietnam, Trump said that countries outside of the grouping were also making “great strides in this new chapter for the Indo-Pacific”.
The use of the term Indo-Pacific by President Trump has led to speculation that it may have something to do with Washington preparing the ground for a revival of the so-called Quadrilateral strategic alliance between the US, Japan, Australia, and India to counter China’s rise. China has already reacted cautiously over a proposal by the Trump administration for a working-level quadrilateral meeting with India, Japan, and Australia, saying Beijing hopes that it would not target or damage a “third party’s interest”. In his address, Trump also praised countries like Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia and Japan, which also briefly touched on the bloody history of the Vietnam war, in which Da Nang was a key battlefield. “Today we are no longer enemies, we are friends,” Trump said.