With China progressively emphasizing its existence in Indo-Pacific, the United States and India in their first high-level two-plus-two dialogue have conversed with Australia, Japan and ASEAN countries to secure the skies and seals in the region, reports a senior administration of President Trump.
Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had conversed with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and James Mattis on September 6 in New Delhi.
Meanwhile, China claims over all of the resource-rich Vietnam, South China Sea, Malaysia, Philippines, and Taiwan have counterclaims across the areas.
The anti-ship cruise missile was recently deployed by China and surface-to-surface missile systems in the disruptions South China Sea among frequent US naval forays and aircraft surveillance over the area to assert freedom of navigation.
Yesterday, during the conference call the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asia Alice Wells said at China’s references that “most in the context of the vision the two nations (India and US) have for the Indo-Pacific region, which excludes no nation.”
The United States has over $1.4 billion in a trade with Indo-Pacific, more than $850 billion in foreign direct investments. Ms. Wells said that “So the conversations between the two countries during the 2+2 Dialogue were how they can bilaterally, tri-laterally with Japan and quadrilaterals with Australia and with the ASEAN can we work to promote economic security and good governance and security of the seas and the skies.”
She continued, “We discussed the Indo-Pacific as an opportunity for the US and India to be able to offer countries alternatives for development, alternatives for how they’re going to pursue significant infrastructure projects and how they’re going to work to be able to create a free and open trading system that has advanced all the countries of the world since post World War-II.”
She further added that India and US together welcome contributions by China for the purpose of regional development as long it adheres to the highest standards where there’s transparency, sustainable financing, and rule of law. Ms. Wells said that “But instead what we see is an opportunity to use private sectors to contribute meaningfully to the development of the region.”
While replying to a query on the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, she stated that “We have been talking about principles for the supportive infrastructure development and having our experts at all levels engaged.”