According to Associated Press India and the United States vowed on Saturday to expand their military engagement and strengthening military ties between the two countries.
US secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh had a meeting in New Delhi over China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region and agreed on tightening defense cooperation, intelligence, and logistics.
“India is an increasingly important partner in rapidly shifting international dynamics. I reaffirm our commitment to a comprehensive forward-looking defense partnership with India as a central pillar of our approach to the Indo-Pacific region,” Associated Press quoted Austin.
Austin made his first visit to the Indian nation following President Biden’s administration takeover, his meeting is after talks between leaders of India, the United States, Australia, and Japan.
AP reported that the named countries are seen as a counterweight to China, who critics believe is flexing its military muscle in the South China Sea, East China Sea, Taiwan Strait, and along its northern border with India
China has called the Quad an attempt to contain its ambitions, according to Associated press.
Indian Defense Minister, Rajnath singh said that the meeting focused on expanding military to military engagement.
“We are determined to realize the full potential of comprehensive global strategic partnership,” Singh added.
Austin on his visit on Friday met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indian National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
Modi’s office stated, that the Prime Minister “outlined his vision for the strategic partnership between the two countries and emphasized the important role of bilateral defense cooperation in India-US ties”, Associated Press indicated.
This comes as High-ranking US and Chinese officials had bitter exchange of words in a meeting in Alaska.
US and India in 2019 inked defense deals worth over $3 billion and both country’s bilateral trade increased from zero in 2008 to $15 billion in 2019, according to AP
US-India Security partnership has grown significantly since the 2000s, mostly in recent years the ties have been driven by the convergence of interests to counter China.
India’s ties with the United States grew stronger following a military standoff with China near the disputed border in eastern Ladakh, and the tensions were later resolved.