India and China had been locked in a military face-off earlier for over two months after China had attempted to build a road at Doklam.
New Delhi: Just days ahead of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to India that will take place next week, India praised his recent statement that the US is a reliable partner to India, saying it “highlighted our shared commitment to a rule-based international order”.
New Delhi’s reaction is being seen as more proof of the ever-strengthening Indo-US ties which is being seen as a counter-weight to the Sino-Pakistani relationship in the region.
In a statement, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said, ‘’Secretary Tillerson has made a significant policy statement on India-US relations and its future. He brought out its various strengths and highlighted our shared commitment to a rule-based international order. We appreciate his positive evaluation of the relationship and share his optimism about its future directions. We look forward to welcoming him in India next week for detailed discussions on further strengthening of our partnership.’’
In a statement on October 18 at a think-tank in Washington at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Mr. Tillerson had been quoted by media reports from there as stating, “In this period of uncertainty and angst, India needs a reliable partner on the wporld stage. I want to make it clear that with our shared values and vision for global stability, peace and prosperity, the US is that partner.”
Slamming China, Mr. Tillerson was further quoted as saying, “The US seeks constructive relations with China. But we won’t shrink from China’s challenges to the rules-based order, or where China subverts the sovereignty of neighbouring countries and disadvantages the US and our friends.”
He also compared this to India that “operates within a framework that protects other nations’ sovereignty.”
Significantly, India on Friday used the same phrase-”rules-based order” to praise Mr. Tillerson whose statement is seen as a strong hint towards what China did at Doklam.
India and China had been locked in a military face-off earlier for over two months after China had attempted to build a road at Doklam in Bhutanese territory. India had objected and top Government sources had then made it clear that New Delhi would protect Bhutan’s sovereignty at all costs. Finally, both India and China withdrew their forces from the stand-off site but the Chinese failure to build the road was seen as a setback to Beijing’s prestige.
Mr. Tillerson’s statement on India protecting the sovereignty of other nations is therefore being seen as a veiled reference to the Doklam stand-off.