NEW DELHI: US defence secretary Mark Esper said America was “closely monitoring” the India-China stand-off and the disengagement process on the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
In his virtual address to the International Institute of Strategic Studies, a global think-tank, Esper also said the USS Nimitz-Indian Navy exercises “shows US ability to project power in the Indian Ocean, and to sustain it with our allies and partners”.
The Indian Navys maritime drill with the US carrier strike group has been interpreted as signalling Americas intention of standing by India in its bid to resist Chinas aggression on the LAC.
Describing the India relationship as “one of the all-important defence relationships of the 21st century”, Esper said India and the US would hold their 2+2 dialogue between foreign and defence ministers later this year. Indian government sources said there was a plan for Esper to visit India around October. This year, its the turn of US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and Esper to make the trip to India, but between Covid-19 and the US polls, dates have not been fixed yet, sources here said.
Days after the US aligned its position on sovereignty in the South China Sea with the 2016 arbitral award by UNCLOS, Esper outlined the USs Indo-Pacific strategy and said, “Three pillarsRead More – Source