New Delhi: Expressing America’s support for India in its “efforts to defend its sovereignty”, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in the context of the Indo-China military stand-off at the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh said that his country “stands with India to deal with any threat”
Aiming to usher defence and security relations between the two countries, Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark T Esper had arrived in India on Monday for ‘crucial talks’.
Quoting officials, an NDTV report carried that the 175-day stand-off in Ladakh was discussed at their 40-minute meeting with National Security Advisor of India, Ajit Doval at the South Block.
Referring to the 20 Indian soldiers who died in a clash with Chinese troops on June 15, Pompe was quoted saying:
“We paid our respect to the soldiers who laid down their lives in the Galwan Valley recently,”
“The US will stand with India in its efforts to defend its sovereignty and its liberty… Our nations are committed to working together into expanding our partnerships across many fronts,” he added.
The US-India relationship has been gaining strength over the last two decades, but more so in the last few years. There isn’t one, but two reasons for this partnership — one is India and one is the US,” were Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar’s comments.
In a statement of denouement to China, Pompeo said the coronavirus pandemic that “came from Wuhan” has set off a “robust discussion” about the Chinese Communist Party.
“Our leaders and our citizens see with increasing clarity that the Chinese Communist Party 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,” he added.
With US President Donald Trump straightaway blaming China for the COVID-19 outbreak, the US-China row over trade issues had snowballed.
Pompeo had said sharp words about China at the meeting of Quad last month, over its ‘expansionist attitude’, “exploitation, corruption and coercion”.
“It is more critical now than ever that we collaborate to protect our people and partners from the CCP’s (Chinese Communist Party) exploitation, corruption and coercion”, he added citing China’s actions in South and East China Seas, Hong Kong, the Himalayas, the Taiwan strait.
“These are just a few examples,” he had said.