The declassified document also commits the US to providing support to India through diplomatic, military and intelligence channels to help address challenges. (REUTERS PHOTO)
The declassified document also commits the US to providing support to India through diplomatic, military and intelligence channels to help address challenges. (REUTERS PHOTO)

India, US can jointly tackle regional and global challenges: MEA

  • The strategy document, which experts believe was declassified by the US to signal a continuing commitment to the Indo-Pacific region, also envisages bolstering India’s capacities so that it can work with other like-minded countries to act as “a counterbalance to China”.
PUBLISHED ON JAN 15, 2021 01:23 AM IST

India on Thursday responded to a declassified US Indo-Pacific strategy that envisages accelerating the country’s rise and ability to address challenges from China by saying that New Delhi and Washington can jointly tackle regional and global challenges.

On Wednesday, the outgoing Trump administration declassified the “US strategic framework for the Indo-Pacific” of 2018 that committed the US to accelerate India’s rise and capacity to serve as a net provider of security and “major defence partner”, and to bolster India’s capacities to counter challenges from China such as “border provocations”.

Asked about the previously secret document at a weekly news briefing, external affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava initially said the matter should be referred to a US government spokesperson as it pertained to an official American report.

“However, I’ll state that India and the US share a comprehensive strategic global partnership, and given our substantial bilateral agenda, our growing economic engagement and a convergence on strategic and security interests, both countries have a common interest in promoting security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond,” Srivastava said.

“Our ability to work together has a positive impact in effectively addressing regional and global challenges,” he added.

The strategy document, which experts believe was declassified by the US to signal a continuing commitment to the Indo-Pacific region, also envisages bolstering India’s capacities so that it can work with other like-minded countries to act as “a counterbalance to China”.

The document also commits the US to providing support to India through diplomatic, military and intelligence channels to help address challenges “such as the border dispute with China and access to water, including the Brahmaputra and other rivers facing diversion by China”.

The strategy, framed more than two years before the India-China military standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that erupted in 2020, makes more than 20 mentions of India and sees the country as “preeminent in South Asia” and taking on “the leading role in maintaining Indian Ocean security”.

On the other hand, the document sees China as a strategic competitor to the US intent on dissolving American alliances and partnerships in the Indo-Pacific and circumventing “international rules and norms to gain an advantage”. It also states that China will use its dominance in cutting edge technologies to “pose profound challenges to free societies”.

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