Facing China, India and the United States are “on the same wavelength.”

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Saturday praised India’s “growing commitment”, with which he met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi “with partners on the same wavelength” as Chinese activity in the region worries both countries.

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India is a key partner for the United States in the Asia-Pacific region, and talks with New Delhi are dominated by China. Lloyd Austin’s visit to India was the first face-to-face meeting between New Delhi and the new administration of US President Joe Biden.

Arriving in New Delhi late on Friday, he met Narendra Modi and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval.

“Common Challenges”

Lloyd Austin praised Pentagon spokesman John “for India’s leadership in the Indo-Pacific region and for growing it to support common goals with like-minded partners in the region.” Kirby.

“Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to maintaining an honest and independent regional order. Both sides pledged to present their perspectives on the common challenges facing each region and further strengthen their broad and strong security cooperation,” John Kirby said.

Without mentioning China directly, Narendra Modi tweeted that “India and the United States are engaged in a strategic alliance, which is a force for the good of the planet.”

The visit comes after the first frost talks Thursday between US Secretary of State Anthony Blingen and senior Chinese officials in Alaska.

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“The 21st Century Key Alliance”

A virtual summit between the US president and the prime ministers of Australia, India and Japan was held last week in a joint effort to produce one billion vaccines against Kovit-19 in India by 2022, which is seen as the first step in its diplomatic offensive against China.

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On Saturday, Lloyd Austin met with Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, who, after an interview, described it as “comprehensive and fruitful” and promised that military cooperation between the two countries would be “one of the key alliances of the 21st century”.

For his part, Lloyd Austin “India [était] Welcomes the “pillar of our approach to the region” and the “changing values ​​and strategic interests of the two countries”.

The Pentagon chief was scheduled to meet with the Indian foreign minister during the day.

A senior U.S. Justice Department official said the United States wants its partners in the region to further cooperate with each other to build a “mutual partnership network” without necessarily interfering in all activities. Security.

It is in this context that the head of Indian diplomacy and Australian Foreign Minister Marice Payne will hold separate talks with her French and Indonesian counterparts Jean-Yves Le Drian and Redno Marsudi in New Delhi in mid-April. Hindustan Times.

Russian relations

Relations between the US and India have been thorny for a long time, but since Narendra Modi came to power in 2014 and the general fears about China led by US Donald Trump (2017-2021) have come closer to them.

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In 2016, the United States appointed India as a “key security partner”. The two countries then signed a series of agreements to exchange advanced weapons and deepen military cooperation.

U.S. to supply military equipment, including helicopters, as part of the modernization of India’s security forces. Security companies have signed multi-billion dollar contracts, which they plan to make $ 250 billion.

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However, Russia remains India’s largest arms supplier. Narendra Modi signed a $ 5.4 billion deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018 to buy Moscow’s S-400 missile defense system.

The deal is subject to US sanctions on Russian arms sales and India has been negotiating for years to avoid sanctions, as happened when NATO ordered the S-400 with ally Turkey.

Harrison Matthews

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