AP NEWS

Southeast Asian leaders celebrate ties with India

January 25, 2018
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pose for the media ahead of their meeting in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, Jan.24, 2018. The leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, are gathering in New Delhi to celebrate 25 years of the group's ties with India. (AP Photo)

NEW DELHI (AP) — 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, are meeting Thursday 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 Friday’s 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.