Expressing concern over China’s growing aggression around the world from Hong Kong, Taiwan, the South China Sea and along the India-China border, a senior White House official said the United States remained with New Delhi during the their military conflict with Beijing.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said that US President Donald Trump, during his presidency, really strengthened all aspects of US-India security and defense cooperation to build a global defense partnership. , lasting and mutually beneficial.
“We have been very concerned about China’s growing aggression around the world, whether it’s in Hong Kong, Taiwan, the South China Sea and, of course, along the border between India and China,” he told PTI exclusively. White House administration official interview.
“We have been with India as it has faced this aggression along its border for the past six to seven months. We have provided the equipment. We have been engaged with India, shown our moral support for India to be able to stand up to the Chinese and make sure there is a peaceful resolution and easing of the situation, “the official said.
The armies of India and China have been stuck in a tense situation at the border in eastern Ladakh since the beginning of May. Both sides held multiple rounds of military and diplomatic talks. However, no breakthrough has yet been achieved.
During the Trump administration, the United States became India’s second largest arms supplier, going from virtually no sales a decade ago to more than $ 20 billion today, the official said.
Earlier this year, the United States and India closed defense sales of $ 3 billion for naval and attack helicopters. To strengthen India’s role as a net security provider in the Indo-Pacific, the Trump administration lifted restrictions on the supply of sensitive defense technology, allowing India to become the first country that is not a treaty ally. of the United States which was offered armed MQ -9 Reaper drones.
In support of India during its standoff on the border with China, the US has leased two MQ-9s in India while the sale of MQ-9 is nearing completion, the official said.
The United States has also accelerated the delivery of cold weather equipment to support the deployment of Indian military along the Effective Line of Control (LAC) during the winter, the administration official said.
“Furthermore, we have concluded the basic trade and cooperation agreement, which is the latest of the so-called key defense enabling agreements. I think this is indeed a historic achievement which clearly demonstrates progress in the defense partnership, “the official said.
Responding to a question, the senior administration official said the US cut security aid and reimbursements to Pakistan in January 2018. There have been some exceptions, for example for things that are in the interest of states United.
“A few small exceptions. But the suspension remains in effect. We continue to look to Pakistan to crack down on terrorists and militants on its territory. We have seen progress on this front. But we certainly need to see more. We need to see decisive crackdowns and sustained measures to rein in these terrorists and militant groups, “the official said.
“We have received cooperation from Pakistan on the Afghan peace process. We appreciate the cooperation we have received from Pakistan. We continue to work with Pakistan and turn to them for help when it comes to convincing the Taliban to reduce violence, for example.
“We were happy to see that the two sides sat down in Doha, and have been in recent months, but we are very upset by the high levels of Taliban violence that continues. So, we look to Pakistan to help us move the peace process forward. And right now, that means seeing a reduction in violence by the Taliban, “the administration official added.
His remarks came as a high-level delegation of the Afghan Taliban, led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, met with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi in Islamabad on Wednesday and discussed the Afghan peace process amid mounting episodes of violence in the war-torn country.
The delegation is visiting Pakistan at a time when President Trump has ordered the withdrawal of more American soldiers from Afghanistan, leaving some 2,500 soldiers in the conflict-torn country. PTI LKJ CPS AKJ CPS