New Delhi/Washington: A senior official at the White House, the official office and residence of the US president, stressed America’s intention to work closely with India and said Beijing had taken some provocative steps along the India-China border. Kurt Campbell, deputy assistant to the US president and coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs, told a Washington-based think tank on Thursday that India is not and never will be a friend of America. He said, “But that doesn’t mean we won’t be close partners and share many things.” We need to understand the role that India will play as a great nation on the global stage.
“We want to promote it and support it,” Campbell said. We want to deepen this relationship, which is already very strong. The relations between the people of the two countries are strongest among the people of the United States, compared to the relations between the people of other countries on a global scale. He said the India-US relationship is “the most important bilateral relationship for America in the 21st century”. “I believe we are destined to work more closely together,” he said. I believe that people-to-people relations between the two countries are strong… these relations are becoming deeper and more strategically important.
The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) think tank said in a report that there have been increased incidents of infiltration and clashes at the India-China border. According to the report, growing fears of border hostility between India and China are impacting the US and its Indo-Pacific strategy between these two Asian giants.
The Ministry of External Affairs recently said in a report that India’s relations with China are “complex” and this was due to China’s attempt to unilaterally change the status quo at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh in April and May 2020 , the tensions in the border areas caused significant damage to peace and tranquility. India’s relations with China are “complex”, says the Foreign Ministry’s 2022 annual report. Both sides agreed that until the border issues are finally resolved, maintaining peace and tranquility in the border areas will be the essential basis for the overall development of bilateral relations.
According to the CNAS report, Indian officials believe that China is trying to weaken India’s willingness and ability to challenge Chinese ambitions by entangling India along its western border with Pakistan and along its eastern border with China. Campbell told the think tank: “Some of the steps China has taken along this vast 5,000-mile border are provocative and extremely worrying for Indian partners and friends.”
The report contains several suggestions to prevent and respond to Chinese aggression along the border with India. It said the US should address the issue of India’s territorial disputes and China’s aggression against other US allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific and ensure that these are taken into account in all national security documents and speeches.
In the context of Pakistan, the report said that the country should be signaled that it must remain neutral in the event of a border dispute between India and China in the future.