New Delhi, March 20 (EFE). India and the United States reasserted their military alliance this Saturday during the visit of US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who met in New Delhi with his Indian counterpart, Rajnath Singh, as well as with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Asian country.
“India in particular is an important partner in the rapidly changing international dynamics in the Indo-Pacific region,” Austin said after meeting Singh in an unquestioned appearance to the media.
The US Secretary of Defense renewed his commitment to a “comprehensive and forward-looking defense alliance with India” as a “basic pillar” of Washington’s strategy in the region, in the face of China’s supposed expansionist desires.
For his part, Singh said the two sides “extensively” discussed defense cooperation between India and the United States.
Austin arrived in New Delhi yesterday, on his first high-level visit to the United States since Joe Biden was elected president, and as the last leg of a diplomatic tour that took him to Japan and South Korea.
The US Defense Secretary met separately with Modi and Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval on Friday.
Austin’s arrival in New Delhi comes a week after the first ever meeting between the leaders of the so-called “Quartet”, an alliance between the United States, India, Japan and Australia that was created in 2007 in response to the military surge from Beijing.
India, one of the world’s largest arms importers, is viewed by the United States as a primary defense partner, giving it access to arms and military technology.
But apart from military equipment, Austin, as in Tokyo and Seoul, goes to New Delhi due to the need to strengthen alliances against Chinese expansion in the region.
The relationship between Washington and Beijing deteriorated dramatically during the presidency of Donald Trump, and the first meeting between the Biden government and top Chinese leaders yesterday in Alaska (United States) left a picture of tension, with a sour exchange of accusations.
At the same time, tensions have escalated between India and China over the border dispute in the Himalayas, which last June witnessed the worst escalation in decades with the killing of at least 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers. EFE
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