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India Expects US Support As It Stands Up To ‘Bully’ China: Defense Official

Asenior Indian official has said New Delhi expects support from the U.S. during a future crisis.

“India is giving a face-off to our (northern) neighbor in almost all the fronts we have with them. Wherever there is a mountain pass, we are stationed there to face the eventuality. Wherever there is a road, we have to be ready there. So that way, we are there, we are standing against a bully in a very determined fashion. And we expect that our friend, the U.S., will be there with us in case we need their support,” Indian Defense Secretary Giridhar Aramane said on Wednesday, according to the Indian newspaper The Hindu on February 21.

The defense secretary’s remarks come against the backdrop of ongoing tensions between India and China, particularly recalling the 2020 standoff that has kept Indian forces on high alert.

In June 2020, an incident involving Chinese and Indian patrols in the Eastern Ladakh region was the first deadly clash along the disputed border in almost four decades. Twenty Indian troops, as well as at least four Chinese soldiers, died.

Speaking at the two-day India-US Defense Acceleration Ecosystem (INDUS-X) meeting in Delhi on Wednesday, Aramane highlighted the critical role both nations play in the region.

Present at the event alongside Aramane in New Delhi was U.S. Indo-Pacific Commander Adm. John Aquilino.

India and the US are key stakeholders in navigating the complex dynamics of the Indo-Pacific region,” Aramane said, The Hindu reported.

Aquilino pointed out China‘s unwavering defense spending despite its economic issues, according to the outlet’s report. Aquilino’s remarks underline the importance of information exchange and interoperability between India and the U.S. in facing regional security challenges, it said.

“By leveraging our respective strengths and capabilities, India and the United States can play a pivotal role in shaping the geopolitical landscape of the Indo-Pacific, promoting peace, stability, and prosperity in the region,” Aramane said, according to an Indian Ministry of Defense press release.

“We are standing against a bully in a very determined fashion,” he added, referring to the assertive stance India has taken in its border disputes with China.

Source: Newsweek