United States wants stronger India economic, defense ties given China's rise: Tillerson


"In the past decade, our counter-terrorism cooperation has expanded significantly", Tillerson said while delivering an address on "Defining Our Relationship with India for the Next Century" at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a top U.S. think-tank.

"The very global order that has benefited India's rise - and that of many others - is increasingly under strain".

China, while rising alongside India, has done so less responsibly, the USA secretary of state said.

He also emphasised that both countries need to collaborate to ensure the peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

"China's provocative actions in the South China Sea directly challenge the worldwide law and norms that the United States and India both stand for", he added, drawing New Delhi into the strategic matrix in the Asia-Pacific region where a rising and assertive Beijing has begun to challenge Washington's decades long dominance even as New Delhi has largely stood by the sidelines. "For many decades the United States has supported China's rise", he said. "As we look ahead, there is room to invite others, including Australia, to build on shared objectives and initiatives", Tillerson said, setting up the roadmap for Trump's Asia visit next month. China, he said, offers an example of "predatory economics".

Tillerson is scheduled to visit India next week. He raised some key issues of concern to India, including H-1B visas.

"The Trump administration is determined to dramatically deepen ways for the United States and India to further this partnership", he said.

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Calling the United States and India "two bookends of stability on either side of the globe", the Trump administration on Wednesday bluntly proposed that Washington and New Delhi work together in the Indo-Pacific region to counter the disruptive force that China has become.

The US is looking at India to help Washington more in Afghanistan particularly in economic and development assistance.

He said Chinese financing was saddling countries with "enormous" debts and failing to create jobs.

"States that use terror as an instrument of policy will only see their worldwide reputation standing diminished." he stated, adding that it was the obligation, not choice, of every civilised nation to combat terrorism. "They are the good neighbours and partner that we have in the region", she said.

While President Donald Trump has looked to deepen cooperation with China on addressing the nuclear threat from North Korea, he's sought a much closer relationship with India, which also shares USA worries on Islamic extremism.

U.S. -India relations have generally prospered in the past decade, in part due to their shared concerns about the rise of China - whose leader Xi Jinping told a ruling communist party congress Wednesday that it was time for China "to take center stage in the world and to make a greater contribution to humankind". "Earlier this year, instructors from the U.S. and Indian Armies came together to build United Nations peacekeeping capacity among African partners, a program that we hope to continue expanding".

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