0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Will challenge China when it undermines interests of US, its allies, says Sherman after meeting Shringla

Mini

The US Deputy Secretary said that the US will cooperate with China where it is in its interest but will challenge Beijing where it undermines the interests of Washington and that of its allies or threatens the rules-based international order.

Will challenge China when it undermines interests of US, its allies, says Sherman after meeting Shringla
US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Wednesday held extensive talks covering the situation in Afghanistan, cooperation under the Quad framework and a range of other issues. Sherman arrived on Tuesday on a three-day visit, nearly two weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks with US President Joe Biden in Washington.
On apprehensions about the spillover of terrorist activity from Afghanistan, Sherman said India's security concerns will be the "first and foremost" and at the "front and centre" for Washington. He also said that India and the US have "one mind and one approach" on developments in Afghanistan.
Noting that the US appreciates India's concerns over the spread of terrorism from Afghanistan, she told a select group of reporters that Washington is putting together a robust programme for "over-the-horizon" (OTH) capability for Afghanistan but did not elaborate on it. The US Deputy Secretary of State said both India and the US have a similar approach on the way forward in Afghanistan that included the Taliban ensuring an inclusive government and that Afghanistan must not become a safe haven for terrorists.
She also emphasised safe and orderly travel for those who want to leave Afghanistan and called for the need to ensure respect for human rights. The senior US official said that the Taliban must act, and not just speak words and that no country is in a rush on recognising the dispensation in Kabul or giving legitimacy to it. She said that there was a need to help the Afghan people.
The US Deputy Secretary said that the US will cooperate with China where it is in its interest but will challenge Beijing where it undermines the interests of Washington and that of its allies or threatens the rules-based international order.
Speaking at a session of the USIBC India Ideas Summit along with Sherman, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said India considers its relationship with the US to be of paramount importance, not only for the two respective nations but also for ensuring a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.
In her remarks at the session, Sherman also asserted that the partnership between the US and India is "indispensable" for the two countries, the Indo-Pacific and the world. The remarks on the Indo-Pacific come amid increasing Chinese assertiveness in the region.
Asked about China and the US' Info-Pacific partnerships, Sherman said shared democratic values are the bedrock of the India-US relationship and they built a strong network of Indo-Pacific alliances and partnerships based on international rules-based order. The US-India partnership is essential to upholding that, she added.
"Regarding the PRC (People's Republic of China) we have been clear, we are ready to compete and compete vigorously, but we want a level playing field... We'll compete vigorously with China where we should, we will cooperate with China where it's in our interest to do so. I am sure the same is true for India. We will challenge China where we must -- where it undermines our interests and interests of our partners and allies or threatens the rules-based international order," Sherman said.
"I think we and India are like-minded in that regard," she said. Sherman asserted that the US does not ask other countries to choose between the US and China but it seeks a level-playing field.
Shringla said that there is every reason to believe that the India-US relationship will only attain greater heights in years to come as they are poised to move forward exponentially on many of the areas that they have identified together.
He said fast-paced developments in South Asia, especially in Afghanistan, will keep India and the US engaged. "We have a keen desire to ensure that we both work together to ensure peace, security, and stability in South Asia and beyond," Shringla said.
India considers its relationship with the US to be of paramount importance, not only for our respective nations but also for ensuring a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific region, and a peaceful and prosperous world, he said. Making her remarks sitting alongside Shringla, Sherman noted that the US and India have enjoyed nearly 75 years of partnership.
"I have to say without a doubt it has never been stronger, it has never been deeper, it has never had more meaning than it has today. All aspects of our relationship were on display during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent visit to Washington -- bilateral trade, job creation, vaccine production, public health, defence and security," she said.
Many of the challenges that "we face can't be solved by any one nation alone", she said, adding that it will take the two largest democracies in the world -- the US and India -- to meet those challenges. Ending the COVID pandemic, combating the climate crisis, deterring cybercrime and terrorism and all such challenges require bilateral and multilateral cooperation to solve, she asserted.
"Above all else, we are both committed to ensuring a free, open and interconnected Indo-Pacific region that means upholding the rule of law and the rules-based international order including maritime space, promoting freedom of expression in the press, ensuring the free flow of commerce, investment, ideas and information," she said. Sherman also hailed India's decision to resume vaccine exports and said that it was a country that the world really depended on.
Sherman also hoped that the US and India will be able to resolve the differences over New Delhi's procurement of a batch of S-400 air defence missile systems from Russia. Sherman told a group of select journalists that any decision on possible sanctions on the S-400 deal will be made by President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
"We want to be very thoughtful about the ways ahead, and discussions between our countries try to solve problems and I hope we will be able to in this instance as well," she said.
(With inputs from PTI)
next story