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

Lucy Bush
October 20, 2017

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's inaugural visit to South Asia next week will reaffirm the Donald Trump administration's comprehensive strategy toward the region, the State Department said on October 19.

Beijing was reacting to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's remarks about America deepening ties with India to counter China.

He added that the USA seeks constructive relations with China but "won't shrink" from the challenges it poses when it "subverts the sovereignty of neighboring countries, and disadvantages the US and our friends".

"The United States seeks constructive relations with China, but we will not shrink from China's challenges to the rules-based order, and where China subverts the sovereignty of neighboring countries and disadvantages the U.S. and our friends", Tillerson told the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

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His first India policy speech after becoming the top American diplomat early this year, Tillerson's remarks comes ahead of President Donald Trump Asia visit which will take him to Japan, S Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Trump has threatened further cuts in US aid to Pakistan if it fails to cooperate.

Tillerson also took the opportunity to compare China with its giant neighbor and criticized Beijing for its "provocative actions" in the South China Sea.

Tillerson said that the USA is "going to have important relationships with China".

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"For many decades the United States has supported China's rise", said the official.

In Beijing, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Lu Kang (陸慷) said China hoped the U.S. could abandon bias when viewing its actions overseas. "At the same time we will never give up our justly deserved rights and interests".

Tillerson will meet with senior Indian leaders to discuss "further strengthening our strategic partnership and collaboration on security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region", it said adding that the visit will advance the "ambitious agenda laid out by President Trump and Prime Minister Modi during the Prime Minister's visit to the White House in June".

He had lashed out at the Chinese model of funding infrastructure projects and developmental activities, saying it does not create jobs and results in an enormous level of debt.

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Tillerson pointedly criticized China's model of economic development in smaller countries, announcing that the U.S. is talking to other countries about offering an alternative to Beijing's lending practices which, he said, saddle nations with "enormous levels of debt".

Other reports by Info About Network

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