On Sunday, Modi held separate pull-aside meetings with Trump and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the sidelines of a gala dinner to mark the 50th anniversary of the Asean. Modi was also seen chit-chatting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. The prime minister as well as all other leaders wore Barong Tagalong, an embroidered shirt which is the national dress of the Philippines.
Last month, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and subsequently Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono has favoured expanding the India-Japan-US trilateral to include Australia. According to sources, the Chinese build-up in the South China Sea figured in the meeting. Tillerson had stressed upon the US desire to have India play a bigger role in the Asia Pacific region, and noted how China doesn't always conform to international laws. Beijing had later said it hoped the quad doesn't target its interests. In an article published in leading newspapers in the Philippines on Sunday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Beijing wanted to bilaterally resolve its disputes with its neighbours over the South China Sea.
Apart from Trump and Duterte, the Indian PM is also likely to have bilateral meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Russian Premier Dmitry Medvedev. The India-Asean Summit could see agreements being signed.
"Every single country in the Asean region wants India to be more engaged in the region in every possible way. That is the real synergy we have with Asean," Indian Ambassador to the Philippines Jaideep Mazumdar said. Prime Minister Modi will participate in the Asean business and investment summit as well as a meeting of leaders of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.