APEC summit: Trump praises India's "astounding" economic growth since liberalization
US President Donald Trump praised India for achieving "astounding" growth since it opened up its economy. He praised PM Narendra Modi for working successfully to bring his countrymen together. He also called for a free and open Indo-Pacific region. Trump's statements came at a meeting of CEOs on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit at Da Nang, Vietnam.
"Since India opened its economy, it has achieved astounding growth and a new world of opportunities for its expanding middle class," Trump said. "And Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi has been working to bring that vast country and all of its people as one. And he has been working at it very successfully indeed," he added.
Trump told the business leaders that "We have been friends, partners and allies in the Indo-Pacific for a long, long time." He also praised other regional countries, namely Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Japan. He spoke of the Vietnam War's brutal history in which Da Nang was a major battleground. "Today we are no longer enemies, we are friends," Trump said referring to Vietnam.
Meanwhile, Modi will leave for the Philippines on Sunday to attend the East Asia and India-ASEAN summits. Trump will also attend the East Asia summit, a meeting between the ASEAN countries and eight of their partners. Trump's use of the term "Indo-Pacific" has caused speculation that he's trying to lay the groundwork for the revival of the US-Japan-Australia-India quadrilateral alliance to counter China's rise.