Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host 10 Southeast Asian leaders as guests of honour at India's Republic Day celebrations as New Delhi seeks to blunt China's influence in the region.

India will host the leaders at a commemorative summit on 25 January to mark a quarter century of ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

Largely, only one foreign dignitary is feted as guest of honour at the Republic Day parade where India showcases its military might with a procession of troops and weaponry (Note: The exceptions were in 1956, 1968 and 1974). But this year, the leaders of Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Brunei will be given the honour, the first time such a bloc has attended, India's foreign ministry said.

 

 

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