US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged closer ties with India on Friday when he warned of China’s growing power on his doorstep amid a flurry of diplomacy between the world‘s two largest democracies.
“You absolutely need the United States to be your ally and partner in this struggle,” said Pompeo of his four-way meeting earlier this week in Tokyo with his colleagues from India, Japan and Australia.
“The Chinese have now started to gather huge forces against India in the north,” Pompeo told radio host Larry O’Connor.
“The world is awake. The tide has turned. And the United States, led by President Trump, has now formed a coalition that will defend itself against the threat,” he said.
Following the Tokyo meeting, Pompeo will shortly be traveling to New Delhi with Defense Secretary Mark Esper for annual talks with her Indian counterparts.
Deputy Foreign Secretary Stephen Biegun will also travel to India next week to prepare for the meeting, the State Department said.
Tensions between India and China have increased since the violent hand-to-hand fighting in the Himalayan region of Ladakh in June, in which 20 Indian troops were killed.
China has admitted the victims but has not released any figures.
Citing national security concerns, New Delhi has since banned dozens of Chinese apps, including TikTok, the blockbuster video sharing platform that India had considered its largest overseas market.
Despite major concerns about China, India has historically stayed away from formal alliances with external powers under its doctrine of “strategic autonomy”.
Asked about tensions with China at the Conservative Heritage Foundation, Indian Ambassador to the United States, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, stressed that the Asian powers had historical ties and welcomed each other’s scholars.
Relations between the US and India have grown rapidly, and “this relationship has a much broader perspective than just China,” Sandhu said.
But he said he expected India and the United States to discuss strengthening defense ties during Pompeo and Esper’s visit.
“I want to underline that there is great further potential for our defense cooperation,” he said.
(This story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)