NEW DELHI (AP) — Ten ASEAN leaders watched a parade and stunt performances as India celebrated Friday’s anniversary of its national constitution taking effect.
Marching bands, floats, military hardware, camels and stunt performers on motorbikes were paraded from the president’s palace through the tree-lined roads of central Delhi.
Flags of the Southeast Asian group of countries fluttered at the 90-minute parade. The celebrations also included aerial displays and floats from Indian states.
India’s constitution came into effect on Jan. 26, 1950. It won independence from British colonialists in 1947.
Leaders from Vietnam, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia were invited by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to commemorate the 25th anniversary of ASEAN-India ties.
India looks to deepen bonds with its eastern neighbors amid its wariness over China’s growing influence in the region.
With competing claims in the Asia-Pacific region, a declaration at the end of the ASEAN-India summit on Thursday reaffirmed the importance of promoting maritime safety and security, freedom of navigation and overflight in the region. It also underlined the lawful uses of the seas and maritime commerce and called for peaceful resolutions of disputes.
In 2016, French President Francois Hollande was the guest of honor at India’s Republic Day parade. In 2015, former U.S. President Barack Obama viewed the display.