The United States called India one of the most important partners in the Indo-Pacific region, welcoming its emergence as a leading global power. US State Department spokesperson Ned Price during a press briefing was quoted by ANI saying his country welcomes India’s role as a net security provider in the region as well, “India is one of the most important partners in the Indo-Pacific region to us. We welcome India’s emergence as a leading global power and its role as a net security provider in the region.”
Welcoming India’s tenure as a non-permanent member at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), he added that US will continue to cooperate with India on a wide range of diplomatic as well as security issues, “We cooperate on a wide range of diplomatic and security issues, including defense, non-proliferation, regional cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, counter-terrorism, peacekeeping, environment, health, education, technology, agriculture, space and oceans and that list is not exhaustive.”
Currently, India enjoys a trade surplus with the US as exports in FY 2019-20 surged to over $40 billion dollars meanwhile imports from the US stands close to $ 28 billion dollars, which leaves a trade balance of over $12 billion dollars of headspace for the Indian government for maneuvering. According to Price, the total bilateral trade between the two countries increased to $ 146 billion in 2019.
Previously, US State Secretary Antony Blinken and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had held talks in which they discussed the LAC border issue, the situation in Myanmar and China’s aggressive ways with other countries. Ned Price touched upon this issue and reiterated that US-India comprehensive strategic partnership is both broad as well as multifaceted.
Our partnership with India across the Indo-Pacific is critical to addressing challenges we face in the region and globally. @DrSJaishankar and I had a fruitful discussion about ways to strengthen our cooperation to address regional developments, including the situation in Burma.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) February 9, 2021
“We are closely monitoring the situation. We know the ongoing talks between governments of India and China and we continue to support direct dialogue and a peaceful resolution of those border disputes,” said Price on Tuesday (Feb 9).
The statement by US State Department spokesperson Ned Price came soon after India and China held bilateral consultations on Tuesday (Feb 9). According to a statement by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), the Indian delegation briefed the Chinese officials “on India’s priorities during its UNSC tenure” while discussing the agenda of UNSC via video conferencing.
In other developments, Quad countries which include–India, US, Japan and Australia are preparing to arrange a meeting of their leaders, according to an article published in Japan Times. The leaders who have been holding joint-military exercises have previously laid importance to the ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’ region amid concerns of growing maritime assertiveness by China.
(With inputs from ANI)