Never considered India and China were on verge of war: US defence secretary Lloyd Austin | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Never considered India and China were on verge of war: US defence secretary Lloyd Austin

By | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Mar 20, 2021 05:54 PM IST

Lloyd Austin was speaking at a press briefing after holding talks with defence minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday.

United States defence secretary Lloyd Austin said on Saturday that his country doesn't think that "India and China were at war". Speaking at a special briefing after holding talks with defence minister Rajnath Singh, Austin said the US will continue to work with "like-minded countries" to ensure to right things are done to maintain peace.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd J Austin III speaks during issuing a joint statement at Vigyan Bhawan, in New Delhi on Saturday.(ANI Photo)
US Defence Secretary Lloyd J Austin III speaks during issuing a joint statement at Vigyan Bhawan, in New Delhi on Saturday.(ANI Photo)

He was responding to a question about the standoff in Ladakh between the two countries, especially after the Galwan Valley clash in which both Indian and Chinese soldiers were killed in June last year.

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"We are working with India, Australia and Japan in the Indo-Pacific region to ensure that freedom of navigation is maintained, and to keep the Indo-Pacific region free and open. There are a lot of capabilities in these countries," said Austin.

"Working with like-minded countries which have shared interest is the only way to check any aggression and we look forward to continue to do that in the future," he added.

Also Watch: Austin honours Indian martyrs, meets Rajnath Singh


Austin further said that the US has a lot of common things with Quad countries like India and Australia in terms of defence perspective and President Joe Biden's administration will continue to build on that.

Austin's visit to India is first by a top member of Biden's administration. His visit follows a meeting last week between leaders of Australia, India, Japan and the United States, which together make up the four Indo-Pacific nations known as the Quad.

The Quad is seen as a counterweight to China, who critics say is flexing its military muscle in the South China Sea, East China Sea, Taiwan Strait and along its northern border with India.

China has called the Quad an attempt to contain its ambitions.

Earlier on Saturday, Austin met with defence minister Rajnath Singh where the two leaders agreed to deepen defense cooperation, intelligence sharing and logistics.

“India is an increasingly important partner in rapidly shifting international dynamics. I reaffirm our commitment to a comprehensive forward-looking defense partnership with India as a central pillar of our approach to the Indo-Pacific region,” Austin said.

Singh said that the talks were focused on “expanding military-to-military engagement”.

Austin arrived in New Delhi on Friday and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval.

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