Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Mike Pompeo Highlights US-India Relations In Trade, Military & Indo-Pacific To Counter China

The US-India relations have “never been closer, from trade to military cooperation and more”, tweeted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He also underlined how the US is forging ties with Australia and Japan in the Indo-Pacific region to counter “Communist China”.

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Pompeo has been posting a series of tweets highlighting the Trump administration’s foreign policy milestones, in the past 24 hours. Along with a link to the 2019 speech during his visit to New Delhi, Pompeo tweeted: “The U.S. relationship with Asia’s most populous democracy has never been closer, from trade to military cooperation and more”.

In another tweet, he credited and thanked his Indian counterpart and “friend” S Jaishankar for making ties between the two countries all stronger. He also used hashtags, #HowdyModi, #ModiHaitoMumkinHai, from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Atlanta rally with President Donald Trump.

Pompeo has been highlighting the US’ foreign policy breakthroughs under Donald Trump. Using #LeadingFromTheFront, the outgoing Secretary of State has stressed the cooperation with the European countries such as the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Croatia, which hadn’t seen “a Secretary of State in years”.

He highlighted other events of importance, including how Washington urged countries to normalize ties with Israel under the Abraham Accord, the resolution of the conflict between Morocco and Western Sahara, and how the Trump administration “made a real pivot to Asia”.

Pompeo also underlined the cooperation with Japan and Australia in the Indo-Pacific region to counter “Communist China”.

It is hard to determine whether the tweets from the Secretary of State were a farewell run or because President Donald Trump has not yet conceded defeat and continues to challenge the November 2020 election results.

US-India Relations Under Trump

The bilateral ties between India and the US have witnessed a shift under the Trump administration. Trump and Modi not only shared mutual admiration but their countries also had a common foe in China. Both leaders visited each other and marked the events with huge rallies.

Furthermore, the US claims India to be an important country in its Indo-Pacific strategy to counter China in the region. On Tuesday, outgoing US ambassador to India Kenneth Juster reaffirmed this cooperation between New Delhi and Washington at a time when India and China are locked in a border stand-off with China.

The two countries have recorded strong promises of defense cooperation under Trump. Juster also reiterated in his farewell speech how bilateral defense and strategic cooperation had been particularly focussed on the Indo-Pacific region during the Trump administration.

He underlined the renaming of the Pacific Command as Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) and the Ministry of External Affairs establishing a new Indo-Pacific Division.

The two countries have inked all the four foundational agreements to bolster defense ties, the latest being the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), a geospatial data-sharing pact that was signed in October 2020 during Pompeo and defense secretary Mark Esper’s visit to New Delhi.

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