Both exert China must respect rule of law; US assures help to deal with LAC face-off, Chinese assertiveness in Indo-Pacific, South China Sea
In an obvious reference to China’s expansionist and aggressive behaviour, India and the US on Tuesday made it clear that Beijing must respect the rule of law and sovereignty. The US also assured India of all help in the backdrop of the ongoing face-off at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh and the growing Chinese assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region and the South China Sea.
This strong and terse message came after the extensive 2+2 dialogue between the two countries here. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar discussed the entire range of strategic issues with their respective counterparts Mark Esper and Mike Pompeo. The two visiting US dignitaries also called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval.
Rajnath and Jaishankar put forth India’s assertions strongly but refrained from naming China during their statements. However, Pompeo was forthcoming and blunt in blaming Beijing as he said the coronavirus pandemic that “came from Wuhan” has set off a “robust discussion” about the Chinese Communist Party.
Giving details of his discussions during the 2+2 conference and bilateral meeting with Esper a day earlier, Rajnath said at the joint Press conference after the dialogue that the two sides shared assessment of the security situation across the Indo-Pacific.
“In that process, we reaffirmed our commitment to peace, stability and prosperity of all countries in this region. We also agreed that upholding the rules based international order, respecting the rule of law and freedom of navigation in the international seas and upholding the territorial integrity and sovereignty of all states are essential. Our defence cooperation is intended to further these objectives,” he said. India and the US also welcomed Australia joining the forthcoming Malabar exercise.
Pompeo maintained, “Our leaders and our citizens see with increasing clarity that the CCP is no friend to democracy, the rule of law, transparency nor the freedom of navigation, the foundation of a free and open and prosperous Indo-Pacific. I’m glad to say India and the US are taking all steps to strengthen cooperation against all threats and not just those posed by the CCP. Last year, we’ve expanded our cooperation on cyber issues, our navies have held joint exercises in Indian ocean.”
In a joint statement later, the two nations reaffirmed their commitment to fight the scourge of terrorism and resolved to jointly face the challenge posed by the coronavirus pandemic. The two countries discussed ways to further strengthen four pillars of the Strategic Energy Partnership (SEP) covering Oil & Gas, Power and Energy Efficiency, Renewables and Sustainable Growth. Pompeo said the US “stands with India to deal with any threat”.
He also expressed his country’s support for India in its efforts to “defend its sovereignty”.
The visiting US Secretary of State said: “We visited the National War Memorial to honour brave men and women of Indian armed forces who sacrificed for the world’s largest democracy, including 20 killed by PLA in Galwan Valley. The US will stand with India as they confront threats to their sovereignty, liberty.”
Highlighting the growing ties between the two countries, Pompeo said the “US values India as a multilateral partner, whether it’s through the Quad, making Afghan peace negotiation successful or working together during India’s upcoming term on UN Security Council(UNSC), we continue to support India’s permanent membership of UNSC.”
On other issues discussed during the high-profile third 2+2 dialogue, Pompeo said the two sides discussed at a “great length” their joint efforts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and the two countries are committed to working together and expanding partnership across many fronts. “The US health agencies are working closely with Government partners of India on the Covid-19 response,” he said.
In their interaction with Modi, Pompeo and Esper conveyed the American Government’s continued interest in building stronger relations with India as well as discussed several issues of regional and global concern. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Doval and US Ambassador to India Ken Juster were also present during the meeting.
In a statement, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said the US secretaries conveyed greetings from President Donald Trump to the Prime Minister.
Recalling the successful visit of Trump to India in February 2020, the Prime Minister warmly reciprocated the greetings, the statement said.
“Pleasure meeting @SecPompeo and @EsperDoD. Happy to see tremendous progress made in India-US relations and the results of the third 2+2 dialogue. Our Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership stands on a firm foundation of shared principles and common strategic interests,” Modi tweeted after the meeting.
The secretaries briefed the Prime Minister on their bilateral meetings and the fruitful and productive third India-US 2+2 dialogue held earlier in the day, the statement said. They conveyed the US Government’s continued interest in building stronger relations with India and working together to realise the shared vision and goals, the PMO said.
Modi appreciated the successful conclusion of the third 2+2 Dialogue and expressed his satisfaction over the multifaceted growth in the bilateral Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership in recent years, it said.
The Prime Minister underlined the strong foundation of trust, shared values, and robust people-to-people ties between both countries, the statement said.
US State Department Principal Deputy Spokesperson Cale Brown said Pompeo and Modi discussed several issues of regional and global concern on which the United States and India collaborate, including Covid-19 response, security and defence cooperation, and shared interests in a free and open Indo-Pacific.
Pompeo and Modi welcomed the warm and close relationship between the two countries, which is rooted in their vibrant democratic traditions and fostered by strong ties between their citizens.
Wednesday, 28 October 2020 | PNS | New Delhi
You might also like
- In the hands of God November 27, 2020
- Farmers’ protest November 27, 2020
- Farmers brave water cannons for Delhi Chalo November 27, 2020
- War on Covid-19 kills Dengue in Doon? November 27, 2020
- 355 new cases, 11 deaths reported in State on Thursday November 27, 2020