Today: Jun 18, 2024

Defence chiefs of US and India discuss issue of global security amidst increased tension on India-China border

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Washington: Seeking to deepen US-India military ties, the defence chiefs of the two countries have shared their assessments of the regional and global security environment and discussed ways to deepen bilateral cooperation and interoperability.

The call between US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen Mark A Miley and his Indian counterpart Chief of the Indian Defence Force Gen Anil Chauhan took place amidst increased tension between India and China on the border.

“The two military leaders shared assessments of the regional and global security environment and discussed ways to deepen bilateral military ties and interoperability,” Joint Staff Deputy Spokesperson Joseph R. Holstead said on Wednesday in a readout of the call.

“The US and India share a strong military-to-military relationship under the US-India Major Defence Partnership,” Holstead said, adding that India plays a “key role” in maintaining a free Indo-Pacific.

“India is a key regional leader and an important partner in maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific,” he said.

The US, India and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China’s rising military manoeuvring in the resource-rich and strategically important region.

China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it.

Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea. China also has territorial disputes with Japan in the East China Sea.

In 2017, the US, Australia, India and Japan gave shape to the long-pending proposal of setting up the Quad to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific region free of any influence.

The Chinese and Indian troops were engaged in a fresh clash in the Yangtse area of Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang sector on December 9, which is the first such major flare-up after the deadly hand-to-hand combat in the Galwan Valley in June 2020 that marked the most serious military conflict between the two sides in decades.