A close partnership between India and the United States is central to a free, open, inclusive, peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.
New Delhi: In what is being seen as a veiled message to China, the US President Donald Trump has backed a “strong and capable Indian military (that) supports peace, stability, and a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific,” even as he “reaffirmed” the American resolve “to support the transfer to India of advanced US military technology.”
A Joint Statement on the “Vision and Principles for India-U.S. Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership” that was is issued by India and the US late on Tuesday evening stated, “Noting that a strong and capable Indian military supports peace, stability, and a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific, and reaffirming his pledge to support the transfer to India of advanced US military technology, President Trump welcomed India’s recent decision to procure MH-60R naval and AH-64E Apache helicopters. ... The leaders looked forward to early conclusion of defence cooperation enabling agreements including Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement."”
The US has been particularly focused on the Indo-Pacific region and its maritime partnership with India, Japan and Australia as part of the Quad initiative, which has been viewed in the context of growing Chinese military and economic power.
“A close partnership between India and the United States is central to a free, open, inclusive, peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific region. This cooperation is underpinned by recognition of ASEAN centrality; adherence to international law and good governance; support for safety and freedom of navigation, overflight and other lawful uses of the seas; and unimpeded lawful commerce; and advocacy for peaceful resolution of maritime disputes in accordance with international law,” the Joint Statement said, adding, “India and the United States took note of efforts towards a meaningful Code of Conduct in the South China Sea and solemnly urged that it not prejudice the legitimate rights and interests of all
nations according to international law.”
“Taking note of their countries’ shared commitment to advancing effective development solutions in the Indo-Pacific and globally, Prime Minister Modi and President Trump look forward to a new partnership between USAID and India’s Development Partnership Administration for cooperation in third countries,” the Joint Statement said.