US jabs China as it backs India as 'defence industry leader in Indo-Pacific'
The United States "supports India as a defence industry leader in the Indo-Pacific and a net provider of security in the region," US secretary of defense Lloyd J. Austin said after the two countries held the crucial 2+2 ministerial dialogue on Monday. "We all understand the challenges that we're facing. The People's Republic of China is seeking to refashion the region in the international system more broadly... in ways it serves its interests."
"I am pleased that we have identified new opportunities to extend the operational reach of our militaries. And to coordinate more closely on the expanse of the Indo-pacific. Last summer, the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group conducted the first-ever combined anti-submarine warfare and air exercise with the Indian Navy and Air Force, and we're looking more to this sort of cooperation," he stressed.
At the 2+2 dialogue, India and the US reinforced the commitments to ties with like-minded countries including Japan, Australia, and our European allies and partners. "As two of the world's largest democracies, the US and India are linked by more than our common interests. "We are bound by our shared values and commitments, including ensuring freedom of the seas and respect for territorial integrity of the SARC states." Austin stressed.
India and the US signed a bilateral Space Situational Awareness arrangement and an agreement to work together on air-launched unmanned aerial vehicles through the defence technology and trade initiative.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh and foreign minister S Jaishankar also discussed the Ukraine war among other global issues at the meet.