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Will Strengthen Partnership with India to Counter China, says US State Dept

The United States of America said that it was going to strengthen its partnership with India to counter a rising China.

In the joint strategic plan by the US Department of State and the US Agency for International Development for 2018-2011, the US said that China and Russia directly “challenge an international order based on democratic norms, respect for human rights, and peace”.

“To balance Chinese influence, we will reinforce existing regional alliances, including those with Japan, Australia, and the Republic of Korea, and strengthen other security partnerships, including with India,” the statement read, adding that China sought to increase its influence in the Indo-Pacific region that has underpinned peace and prosperity in the region.

"China’s actions, including the militarization of disputed territory in the South China Sea, transgression of norms in cyberspace, continued support for North Korea, disregard for human rights, and unfair trade and investment practices threaten to undermine the international rules-based order that has underpinned peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond,” the US said.

The statement further read that the Indo-Pacific was “the most dynamic region of the world” and that the US was for supporting a free and open region.

“To advance our interests in the most dynamic region of the world, we will support a free and open Indo-Pacific, working with allies and partners to promote economic prosperity, security, and democratic governance. We will deepen our unique strategic partnership with India, a fellow democracy and pillar of rules-based international behaviour,” the US said.

The statement comes just days after Chief of US Air Force General David L Goldfein said Indian and US air forces will significantly ramp up operational cooperation to complement the strategic interests of the two countries in the Indo-Pacific region where China has been expanding its military influence.

Calling India a “central strategic partner” of the US in pursuing common interests in the region, he said two of the world's largest air forces were going to jointly shift the focus on the Indo-Pacific region and asserted that the rules- based order must be preserved in the critical sea lanes.

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