US diplomat to visit India for Indo-Pacific talks
The meeting comes ahead of Beijing’s second Belt and Road Forum, which India and the US are not attending.Updated: Apr 23, 2019 00:12 IST
A senior US diplomat is headed for New Delhi to hold discussions on a “free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific region”, a phrase often used while dealing with China’s aggressive posture in the region.
The meeting comes ahead of Beijing’s second Belt and Road Forum, which India and the US are not attending.
Principal deputy secretary of state Alice Wells, who heads the state department’s South and Central Asia section, “will meet with senior Indian government officials to discuss US-India cooperation in promoting a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific region”, the US state department said in a statement Monday.
The two sides will also “continue to advance initiatives agreed upon at the 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue last fall”, during Wells’s visit, the statement added.
Wells, who will remain in the region until April 30, is also scheduled to visit Bhutan and Pakistan.
The discussion regarding the Indo-Pacific region is likely to be the highlight of the New Delhi visit. Both India and the United States have long-standing concerns about China’s aggression in the region and beyond, especially as a consequence of its controversial Belt and Road Initiative.
They have concerns about the projects undertaken by China in countries that have signed up for the Belt and Road Initiative under predatory funding conditions that end up threatening their sovereignty.
First Published: Apr 23, 2019 00:12 IST