U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper Says He Is Monitoring India-China Situation Very Closely


He said US relations with India were “one of the most important of the 21st century.” (FILE)


Describing the Chinese military’s activities in the region as “destabilizing,” US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Tuesday that America was monitoring the situation between India and China along the coast “very closely”. effective line of control.

Mr Esper made the remarks at a virtual security seminar amid China’s renewed military assertiveness in eastern Ladakh as well as in the South China Sea.

“We are obviously monitoring the situation between India and China very closely, what is happening along the real line of control and we are very happy to see that both sides are trying to defuse the situation,” Mr. Esper in response to a question about the tension between the two countries.

Affirming that the activities of the People’s Liberation Army in the region are “destabilizing”, he said that it “continues its aggressive behavior in the East and South China Seas”.

Mr. Esper also said America’s relationship with India was “one of the most important defense relations of the 21st century.”

In the middle of the India-China border, a US Navy aircraft carrier attack group led by the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz conducted a military exercise with a fleet of warships on Monday. Indians off the coast of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Four Indian Navy frontline warships took part in exercise “PASSEX” as the US aircraft carrier strike group transited the Indian Ocean region from the South China Sea, reported officials in New Delhi said.

The USS Nimitz is the world‘s largest warship and the exercise between the two navies has grown in importance as it took place amid tensions between India and China in eastern Ladakh as well as in China’s military affirmation in the South China Sea.

Mr. Esper said the joint exercise in the Indian Ocean shows increasing cooperation between the naval forces of India and the United States.

“I want to highlight our increased defense cooperation with India, one of the most important defense relations of the 21st century. We conducted our very first joint military exercise last November. As we speak today, the USS Nimitz is conducting a combined exercise with India. Navy in the Indian Ocean, demonstrating our common commitment to stronger naval cooperation and support for a free and open Indo-Pacific, ”he said.

“Our carriers have been in the South China Sea and the Indo-Pacific since World War II. We will support the sovereignty of our friends and partners,” he added.

Mr. Esper said that China’s illegal land reclamation and military exercises on and around the disputed features of the South China Sea are clearly inconsistent with its commitments set out in the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea.

“The Chinese Communist Party continues to engage in systemic activities of rule violation, coercion and other malicious activities,” he said, adding that he had intimidated ASEAN countries on a estimated $ 2.6 trillion in potential offshore oil and gas revenues and denied them access to important fishing grounds.

China wields a rapidly expanding military and economic influence in the Indo-Pacific region, raising concerns in various countries in the region and beyond.

China is also engaged in highly controversial territorial disputes in the South China Sea and the East China Sea. Beijing has built and militarized many of the islands and reefs it controls in the region. Both areas are said to be rich in minerals, oil and other natural resources and are vital for world trade.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea. Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counterclaims over the region.

Mr. Esper urged the Chinese leadership to comply with international laws and standards that China ~ CHECK ~ and the Chinese people ~ CHECK ~ have benefited greatly over the years. “And while we hope the CCP will change its ways, we must be ready for the alternative,” he warned.

He said that the US South China Sea policy “defends a free and open Indo-Pacific … and makes it clear that the People’s Republic of China has no right to turn international waters into a zone of exclusion or in its own maritime empire “.

“We must maintain the free and open system that has ensured peace and prosperity for millions of people: respect for sovereignty; peaceful resolution of disputes; adherence to international laws and standards; and promotion of free, fair and reciprocal, ”he said.

“We firmly believe that no nation can ~ CHECK ~ or should ~ CHECK ~ dominate the public commons, and we will continue to work alongside our allies and partners to support a prosperous and secure Indo-Pacific for all,” he said. Mr Esper said.

Mr. Esper also said that “the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific is rooted in the values, history and economic ties we share with our allies and partners, and has than grow in the face of efforts to undermine it ”.

“We encourage the countries of the Indo-Pacific to develop their own intra-regional security relations and networks of like-minded partners,” he added.

The navies of the United States, India, Australia, Japan and France have deepened their mutual cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region due to China’s growing attempt to expand its military influence in the region rich in resources.

(With the exception of the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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