This comes just a week before the visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper.
New Delhi: The United States is monitoring the India-China standoff in Ladakh, and sharing information with New Delhi, and wants to ensure the situation does not escalate, senior officials of the Trump administration said on Saturday.
The remark came ahead of the third “2+2 dialogue” between India and the US, scheduled to begin in Delhi on Monday.
This comes just a week before the visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. The foreign and defence ministers are expected to discuss regional security cooperation, defence information sharing and defence trade.
The US said it has been working with like-minded partners to counter ‘China's aggressive behaviour’ across the Indo-Pacific and the South China sea.
“We have had an ongoing dialogue with the Indians about the increased cooperation in Southeast Asia, not just the South China Sea. And we encourage their involvement and that cuts across development investments, that cuts across security cooperation and that also involves presence and so, we welcome greater Indian participation across Southeast Asia in all three of those areas," US officials said in an online news briefing, reported NDTV.
“We as a government are covering the situation in the Himalayas closely and understandably,” US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Dean Thompson said. “And we certainly want to ensure that the situation does not escalate.”
The US said it welcomes increased Indian involvement in Southeast Asia including its military presence in the South China Sea and has been working with like-minded partners to counter "China's aggressive behaviour" from the Himalayas to the disputed oceanic region.
The United States also said that they are providing support, ‘whether defence sales, exercises, information sharing’ to India.
''The defence relationship with India is at its best in recent memory. The progress that we have made since India became a major defence partner in 2016 is remarkable," they added.
“Secy of State M Pompeo and Secy of Defense MT Esper and their Indian counterparts to lead third annual US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in Delhi to advance US-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership & expand cooperation to promote prosperity in Indo-Pacific,” the statement read.
India along with the US, Japan and Australia will hold the high-level Malabar naval exercises next month. Australia is returning to the high-level naval exercise for the first time after 2007 when its participation drew criticism from China.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark T Esper will travel to India to hold talks with External Affair Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on October 26 and 27.
Last Updated 24, Oct 2020, 12:50 PM