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US State Secretary Mike Pompeo,Defence Chief Mark Esper To Visit India For Talks
Last November the United States held its first-ever bilateral air, land and sea exercises with India.
US State Secretary Mike Pompeo, Defence Chief Mark Esper To Visit India For Talks
New Delhi: US Defence Secretary Mark Esper on Tuesday announced that he and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit India next week to strengthen the two countries' alliance in the face of China's strategic challenges.
"India will well be the most consequential partner for us, in the Indo-Pacific for us for sure, in this century," Esper said in an address to the Atlantic Council.
Further, he said that his visit is part of the broader US initiative to strengthen older alliances and develop new ones against Russian and Chinese efforts to build their own global power networks.
As per the reports, talks in New Delhi could cover increased intelligence sharing.
"It's the world's largest democracy, a very capable country with very talented people, and they face-off, every day, Chinese aggression in the Himalayas," Esper said of India.
Esper's comment also followed an announcement by Australia that it will take part in the large-scale military drill off the coast of India next month, the Malabar naval exercise together with India, Japan, and the United States.
The United States last November held its first-ever bilateral air, land, and sea exercise with India.
The carrier SUS Nimitz in July also held an exercise with the Indian navy.
As per Esper, the two countries have also opened a cuber defense dialogue.
His and Pompeo's meetings with Indian counterparts will reflect the need for "a lot more close collaboration" on challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, where China is building its presence, he said.
"Together these efforts will strengthen what may become one of the most consequential partnerships of the 21st century."