Army chiefs from India and the US have pledged to increase their army cooperation, strengthening defence ties between two nations involved over China’s rising affect within the Indo-Pacific area.
US secretary of defence Lloyd Austin and Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh met in New Delhi and agreed to deepen defence cooperation, intelligence-sharing and logistics.
“India is an more and more necessary companion in quickly shifting worldwide dynamics,” Austin stated.
“I reaffirm our dedication to a complete forward-looking defence partnership with India as a central pillar of our strategy to the Indo-Pacific area.”
Austin is making the primary go to to India by a prime member of President Joe Biden’s administration.
His go to follows a gathering final week between leaders of Australia, India, Japan and the US, which collectively make up the 4 nations generally known as the Quad.
The Quad is seen as a counterweight to China, who critics say is flexing its army muscle within the South China Sea, East China Sea, Taiwan Strait and alongside its northern border with India.
China has known as the Quad an try and comprise its ambitions.
Austin’s Indian counterpart Singh stated the talks had been centered on “increasing military-to-military engagement”.
“We’re decided to grasp the complete potential of complete world strategic partnership,” Singh stated.
Austin arrived in New Delhi on Friday and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and nationwide safety adviser Ajit Doval.
In keeping with an announcement from the prime minister’s workplace, Modi “outlined his imaginative and prescient for the strategic partnership between the 2 nations and emphasised the necessary position of bilateral defence cooperation in India-US ties”.
Earlier than the talks on Saturday, Austin visited the Nationwide Warfare Memorial and was accorded a ceremonial guard of honour.
The timing of Austin’s go to, which follows talks between high-ranking US and Chinese language officers in Alaska amid a bitter change of phrases, indicators the significance Biden locations on New Delhi as a safety ally.
The US and India have steadily ramped up their army relationship in recent times and signed a string of defence offers and deepened army cooperation.
The US-India safety partnership enjoys sturdy bipartisan help in Washington, and it has grown considerably because the early 2000s although commerce agreements have been a sticking level.
Lately, relations between the nations have been pushed by a convergence of pursuits to counter China.
Extra not too long ago, India drew nearer to the US following its months-long army standoff with China alongside their disputed border in jap Ladakh, the place lethal clashes erupted final 12 months.
Tensions between the nuclear-armed Asian giants have eased after the 2 nations pulled again troops from one space of rivalry.