India aims to deepen Asia engagement through India-US-Japan meet this month

In the leadup to the first trilateral consultation between India, Japan and the US in Washington later this month, India has said it will continue to deepen its engagement with the Asia-Pacific region, the Economic Times reports.

The upcoming talks on Dec. 19, "would help increase mutual understanding and enhance our cooperative endeavors", the paper quoted Indian Ambassador Nirupama Rao as saying in an address Monday at University of California, Berkeley.

"As we move towards an Asia-Pacific century, India will continue to deepen its engagement with the region as well as contribute to its overall prosperity, stability and security," Rao said.

Today, the scope of India's Look East policy has broadened to include the Far East and Pacific island nations extending from Australia to East Asia, with ASEAN at its core, the Economic Times quoted Rao as saying.  She also noted that the East Asia region including ASEAN is today India's largest trading partner.

As reported earlier on GlobalPost, India's increasing cooperation with the U.S. in Southeast Asia and the Pacific gives New Delhi added influence, but is also likely to raise hackles in Beijing.