Connect with us

Featured

Indo-Pacific Region Could Transform Dramatically As US, Maldives Sign Defence Pact

Amid China’s growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region, both nations “reiterated their commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific that promotes the security and prosperity of all nations in the region”.

Published

on

With US President Donald Trump looking to strengthen alliances in the Indo-Pacific region amidst the growing presence of China, the US signed an agreement with the Maldives to enhance defense cooperation aimed at maintaining peace and security in the strategic Indian Ocean.

Indian Army Has Broken The US Myth About China Being An “Unbeatable Martial Monolith”

The “Framework for U.S. Department of Defense-Maldives Ministry of Defence Defense and Security Relationship” was signed by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia, Reed Werner and Maldivian Minister of Defense Mariya Didi in Philadelphia on Thursday (September 10).

According to the press statement released by the Pentagon – “The framework sets forth both countries’ intent to deepen engagement and cooperation in support of maintaining peace and security in the Indian Ocean, and marks an important step forward in the defense partnership.”

While emphasizing the significance of bilateral dialogue and engagement, amid growing transnational threats such as terrorism, violent extremism, piracy, and illicit trade, Mariya stated that peace and security in the Indo-Pacific and Indian Ocean region is tied to the best interests of both countries.

She also said that the Maldivian government views the framework as an “important ‘milestone” in defense and security cooperation between the two countries.

“Werner and Didi also discussed US support for the island nation in its response to COVID-19 and areas for future cooperation, and agreed to work toward scheduling the first Defense and Security Dialogue.” The statement released by the Pentagon said.

Amid China’s growing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region, both nations “reiterated their commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific that promotes the security and prosperity of all nations in the region”.

China which is already embroiled in territorial disputes in the South China Sea with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam, and with Japan over the East China sea, have also been trying to spread their influence in the resource-rich Indo-Pacific region.

However, the Trump administration, which calls for China’s South China Sea disputes to be resolved through international law, has been pushing for a broader role by India in the strategically important region.

The US has imposed all-round, high-intensity maximum pressure on China on political, diplomatic, economic and military fronts, while also deploying warships and aircraft carriers into the South China Sea with increasing frequency.

Last month, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper, while underlining efforts to improve relations with nations like India to counter China’s advances in the IOR and in order to make Beijing respect the international rules-based order, had said –

“The Indo-Pacific is the epicenter of “great power competition” with China which wants to project its power globally.”

In addition to strengthening ties with allies, the U.S. is also looking to expand our engagement with new and emerging partners throughout South and Southeast Asia. For instance, we have upgraded defense relationship with India to a Major Defence Partnership, and we held our first-ever joint military exercise with them last year, along with combined naval exercises earlier this summer.”

Beijing has been building military bases on artificial islands in the 1.3 million square mile South China Sea region, most of which it claims as its sovereign territory.

As reported earlier by the Eurasian Times, last month, in what was a boost for India-Maldives relations, New Delhi bagged a deal worth $500 million for a connectivity project in the Maldives.

With Beijing already winning key contracts in countries like Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives before, the decision to award the connectivity project was a major blow for Beijing which was looking to make inroads into the island nation, aimed to break India’s sphere of influence in the region.

Once completed, the Maldives’ capital of Malé will be connected to the three neighboring islands of Villingili, Gulhifahu (where a port is being built under an Indian LoC), and Thilafushi (a new industrial zone).

“Once completed, this landmark project will streamline connectivity between the four islands, thereby boosting economic activity, generating employment and promoting holistic urban development in the Male region,” said the statement issued by the Indian Foreign Ministry.

New Delhi’s huge investment is viewed as a counter to Beijing’s China-Maldives Friendship Bridge under its Belt and Road Initiative.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

FEATURED

S400-VS-F35 S400-VS-F35
Americas8 hours ago

Is The UAE Threatening To Opt For Russian Su-57 Jets Over US’ Stealth F-35 Warplanes??

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has warned that if the US refuses to supply it with F-35 and MQ-9 Reaper...

india-russia india-russia
Featured9 hours ago

Indian, Russian Navy Hold PASSEX Exercise In The Eastern Indian Ocean Region

On the occasion of Navy Day, the Indian Navy is conducting a passage exercise (PASSEX) with the Russian Navy in...

Pakistan-Turkey-Relations Pakistan-Turkey-Relations
Featured12 hours ago

After Backing Pakistan on Kashmir, Is Turkey’s Erdogan Hiring Syrian Mercenaries To Fight In The Valley?

For some time now, Turkey has been making attempts to grow its influence among the Muslims in South Asia in...

iran-israel iran-israel
Featured12 hours ago

Assassination Of Top Iranian Scientist Will Complicate Relations Between The US & Iran: Joe Biden

Joe Biden, the next President of the United States said the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is likely...

BRAHMOS BRAHMOS
Asia Pacific14 hours ago

From Rafales, Su-30 MKIs & Tejas, Why Next-Gen BrahMos Missile Can Be A Game-Changer For The Indian Air Force?

Amid the border row with China, the Indian armed forces successfully test-fired the BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles in the past...

India-Pak-War-1971 India-Pak-War-1971
Asia Pacific16 hours ago

What Did Indira Gandhi Tell Naval Chief Before Indian Navy Bombed Karachi Port In 1971 War?

India marks 4 December as Navy Day to commemorate the Indian Navy’s attack on the Karachi port during the 1971...

Asia Pacific17 hours ago

Indian Navy To Counter Chinese Swarm Drones With New Guns That Can ‘Smash’ UAVs

Countries across the globe are looking for innovative ideas to check the menace of small drones or small unmanned aerial...

TYPHOONS TYPHOONS
Featured18 hours ago

Eurofighter Typhoons ‘Soar & Roar’ In Qatar As Royal Air Force Conducts Drills With Emiri Air Force

The British Royal Air Force and Qatar Emiri Air Force, for the first time in history, have come together for...

imran-khan imran-khan
Asia Pacific18 hours ago

Not India, Former ISI Chief Hints At UAE, Saudi Arabia Being The Biggest Threat To Pakistan

Durrani said that Pakistan is not threatened by India but is mired with its internal problems, including political instability and...

ERDOGAN-TURKEY ERDOGAN-TURKEY
EurAsian Region20 hours ago

Russia, Pakistan To Be First Buyers Of Turkey’s Mobile Anti-Drone System That Can Smell UAVs From 5000 Meters

As Turkey is gradually emerging as a drone superpower, its key allies Russia and Pakistan have shown tremendous interest in...

Advertisement
Advertisement