US, India sign defence pact after talks focused on countering China’s growing influence

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  • Dec 26, 2011
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    • The agreement will allow Washington and New Delhi to share satellite data for use in attacks and better surveillance against adversaries
    • US state secretary Pompeo and defence secretary Esper took a harder line on China than India’s external affairs minister Jaishankar and defence minister Singh
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    India and the United States
    on Tuesday signed a military agreementthat will allow them to share sensitive satellite data, with both sides hailing a new era of cooperation amid efforts to counter China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark Esper were in New Delhi for an annual strategic dialogue with their counterparts, India’s Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, with discussions focusing on stability in the region.
    Pompeo and Esper, in a reflection of US President Donald Trump’s efforts to be tough on Beijing,
    took a harder line on China
    . At the outset of the meeting, Pompeo said the two sides had “a lot to discuss today, from cooperating on
    defeating the pandemic
    that originated in Wuhan, to confronting the Chinese Communist Party’s threats to security and freedom, to promoting peace and stability throughout the region”.

    The US secretary of state said at a later press conference that there had been “robust discussions on the Chinese Communist Party”, adding that it was “no friend to democracy”.

    Added Esper: “We stand shoulder to shoulder in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific for all, particularly in view of increasing aggression and destabilising activities by China.”

    India, however, did not name China in statements by the two ministers. Said Jaishankar: “At a time when it is particularly important to uphold a rules-based international order, the ability of India and the US to work closely in defence and foreign policy has a larger resonance.

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