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India, US Too Cautious With “Elephant In Room” China: US Official Stephen Biegun

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India, US Too Cautious With 'Elephant In Room' China: US Official Stephen Biegun

The Trump administration doesn’t “seek to change” India’s traditions, Stephen Biegun stated (File)

New Delhi:

While referring to China because the “elephant in the room”, visiting US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun stated on Monday that India and the US have been “too cautious” in direction of China’s response to the strategic ties between New Delhi and Washington.

Speaking on the Ananta Centre India-US Forum occasion, Mr Biegun stated: “Of course, as we advance in this direction, there is an elephant in the room: China. Last week, in advance of Secretary Pompeo’s meeting with Minister S Jaishankar and their Japanese and Australian counterparts in Tokyo, I read remarks by the esteemed, retired Indian diplomat Ashok Kantha. I was particularly struck by a comment he made.”

“I could not agree more with Ambassador Kantha. We have been too cautious. Last week’s important and successful Quad ministerial leaves the US confident that perhaps, just maybe, we can say that we are present at the creation of those strategic linkages to which Ambassador Kantha refers,” he added.

External Affairs minister S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had final week met for the Quad (Australia, India, Japan, US) ministerial dialogue in Tokyo final week.

Stephen Biegun additional stated that Washington appreciates New Delhi’s strategic autonomy including that there’s “enormous opportunity” within the United States’ safety relationship with India.

“In thinking about the future, it is no secret that I see enormous opportunity in the United States’ security relationship with India. India has a strong and proud tradition of strategic autonomy, and we respect that,” the US Deputy Secretary of State stated.

He added that the Trump administration doesn’t “seek to change” India’s traditions.

“Rather we want to explore how to empower them and India’s ability to defend its own sovereignty and democracy and to advance Indian interests, across the Indo-Pacific region. As the United States assesses our own interests and how they intersect with India’s, we have seen the conditions emerge for an organic and deeper partnership – not an alliance on the post-war model, but a fundamental alignment along shared security and geopolitical goals, shared interests, and shared values,” Mr Biegun stated.

Stephen Beigun, on Monday, arrived in New Delhi for his three-day go to with an goal to advance the United States-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday met with him and exchanged views on world politics and regional points.

Stephen Beigun’s India go to comes forward of the upcoming “2+2” talks on the overseas and defence ministerial stage between India and the United States.

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