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Our Strategic Interest Align With India, Says US Defense Secretary Mark Esper

Referring To China And Russia As Pentagon’s Top Two Challenges In The Coming Years, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper On Friday Said Washington Will Continue To Advance Growing Partnership With India.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Mohit Pandey | Updated on: 14 Dec 2019, 07:58:32 AM
Mark Esper alleged Beijing and Moscow of violating the sovereignty of smaller states.

New Delhi:

Referring to China and Russia as Pentagon’s top two challenges in the coming years, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Friday said Washington will continue to advance growing partnership with India. Mark Esper, who was addressing Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) think-tank, added that America’s resolve to uphold a free and open Indo-Pacific is deep-rooted and is only growing stronger in the face of efforts to undermine it.

This comes days before scheduled visits of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Foreign Ministe to the United States for 2+2 ministerial talks with their respective American counterparts—Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper—on December 18.

“Next week in Washington DC, the United States will host the second ever India two-plus-two ministerial, where we will continue to advance our growing partnership as our strategic interests align”, the defence secretary added.

He alleged Beijing and Moscow of violating the sovereignty of smaller states by growing strength of the militaries. He added that both China and Russia are attempting to undermine international laws and norms to advantage themselves at the expense of others.

Through Belt and Road initiative, Esper noted that China was expanding its economic ties across Asia, Europe and Africa with a less-publicised objective of expanding the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) influence and reach.

Russia’s annexation of Crimea and incursion into Ukraine were evidence of its blatant disregard for state sovereignty and its intent to undermine NATO’s cohesion, he added.

However, in response to a query whether US-China competition should be referred to as 'cold war', he said it to be ‘premature’ assumption.

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First Published : 14 Dec 2019, 07:56:00 AM