On Monday, the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper traveled to New Delhi for negotiations with Indian leaders at a moment when India is held captive at the controversial Himalayan border for years in its most severe military dispute with China in years.
As the two nations officially began a top-level security discussion aimed at countering China's increasing influence over the region, India is expected to sign a military contract with the United States to exchange sensitive satellite data.
Diplomatic tension on China has indeed been stepped up by Washington, as relations continue to deteriorate over an array of issues, from Beijing's handling of the outbreak to its establishment in Hong Kong of an existing security legislations and desires in the South China Sea.
Two great democracies grow closer
Before the discussions with Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar of India as well as Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, Pompeo had this to say: "Today is a new opportunity for two great democracies like ours to grow closer."
Pompeo went on to say on Tuesday as he properly equipped for discussions with Indian leaders, that the U.S. and India need to take action to address the danger to liberty and safety caused by China.
"There is much more work to do for sure. We have a lot to discuss today: Our cooperation on the pandemic that originated in Wuhan, to confronting the Chinese Communist Party's threats to security and freedom to promoting peace and stability throughout the region."
The agreement would also provide India with availability to various geological, nautical, and aeronautical statistics deemed crucial for missile and militarized drone firing. An Indian defense source also stated that it would enable the U.S. to give specialized navigation systems and avionics on US-supplied planes to India.
The decision for India to purchase US F-18 fighter planes and steer away from its dependence on Russian weapons was pushed by Esper.
Esper stated: "Our focus now must be on institutionalizing and regularising our cooperation to meet the challenges of the day and uphold the principles of a free and open Indo-Pacific well into the future."
Before that, China had objected to those very intergovernmental war games and see it as being directed toward them. India had long avoided expanding them, for dread that Beijing would have been enraged.
However, this summer's border pressure with China, which had emerged in a confrontation that killed 20 Indian soldiers, has stiffened the national sentiment against Beijing and, experts think, will drive stronger relations with the U.S.
The U.S. State Department applauds in a comment, "the strong partnership between the United States and India," announcing it to be "critical to the security and prosperity of both countries, the Indo-Pacific region, and the world."
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