Indo-US partnership on regional security draws sharp response from China

In the early hours for Wednesday, the Chinese Embassy in India issued a statement against US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper for what it called “openly attacking China and the Communist Party of China” during ...

AP
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a joint press conference at Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020
NEW DELHI: The Indo-US partnership on regional security has drawn a sharp response from China, with Beijing accusing the US administration of interfering in a bilateral matter.

In the early hours for Wednesday, the Chinese Embassy in India issued a statement against US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper for what it called “openly attacking China and the Communist Party of China” during their visit to India to attend the India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue.

The embassy noted that the boundary question is a bilateral matter and the two sides have been discussing disengagement and de-escalation in the border areas through diplomatic and military channels.


The leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is a choice of history and the people, the statement said. This year, under the leadership of the CPC, the Chinese people have achieved strategic victory in fighting the virus, according to the embassy.

The "Indo-Pacific strategy" proposed by the US is to stir up confrontation among different groups and blocs and to stoke geopolitical competition, in a bid to maintain the dominance of the US, and organise closed and exclusive ideological cliques, the statement said.

Addressing reporters on Tuesday following the 2+2 dialogue, Pompeo had blamed China for stalemate at the line of actual control (LAC) and blamed the CPC for spreading virus, even as India publicly didn’t pull up China for LAC actions amid diplomatic and military-to-military dialogue to end the over 175-day crisis.
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What has also irked Beijing is Pompeo’s comment that the leaders and citizens of India and the US could now see with increasing clarity that the Chinese Communist Party is “no friend to democracy, the rule of law, transparency nor the freedom of navigation, the foundation of a free and open and prosperous Indo-Pacific”.

China’s “reckless aggression”, its disputed boundary with India in eastern Ladakh, and its belligerence in the Taiwan Strait, South China Sea and East China Sea, were on the agenda of the 2+2 dialogue.

Pompeo and Esper conveyed to Jaishankar and Singh that the US would always stand with India to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity in the wake of the challenges posed by China.

The US diplomats also visited the national war memorial in New Delhi and paid homage to the fallen soldiers of India, including the 20, who were killed in the face-off with the PLA on June 15.
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A joint statement issued after the meeting focused on the Indo-Pacific partnership. “Highlighting the importance of securing the economic and security interests of all stakeholders having a legitimate interest in the region, the ministers welcomed the growing understanding on the Indo-Pacific among like-minded countries. They reaffirmed that closer India-US cooperation will support shared interests in promoting security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. They also emphasised that the code of conduct in the South China Sea should not prejudice the legitimate rights and interests of any nation in accordance with international law,” the statement said.
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