China hardens stance along border with India : US Def Secy : The Tribune India

Tribune press service

Ajay Banerjee

New Delhi, June 11

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin said on Saturday that “Beijing continues to harden its stance along the border it shares with India.”

This is the second such sighting by a senior US official this week.

Austin was speaking on day two of the three-day Shangri-La Dialogue, which was taking place in Singapore.

Earlier on June 8, US Army Pacific Commanding General Charles A. Flynn, during a visit to India, said the infrastructure China has created near its border with India in Ladakh was “alarming”, describing Chinese activity in this region as “revealing”. ”.

Today in Singapore, Austin speaking on China’s expanding territorial claims, said “this is particularly important as the PRC (People’s Republic of China) takes a more coercive and aggressive approach to of its territorial claims.

In the East China Sea, the expansion of the Chinese fishing fleet is causing tensions with its neighbors. In the South China Sea, the PRC is using outposts on artificial islands bristling with advanced weaponry to advance its illegal maritime claims, Austin said, adding, “We see PRC ships looting supplies from the region, operating illegally in the territorial waters of other Indo-Pacific countries.

Speaking on expanding ties with India, Austin said the United States was forging closer ties with other partners. “I am thinking in particular of India, the largest democracy in the world. We believe its growing military capability and technological prowess can be a stabilizing force in the region.

And last spring, the USS Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group rotated in the Indian Ocean and conducted simultaneous joint operations with the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force that integrated air power and anti-submarine warfare. The United States and India are partners in the Quadrangle or Quad.

On U.S.-China relations, Austin said that includes fully open lines of communication with China’s defense leadership to ensure “we can avoid miscalculations.” These are deeply, deeply important conversations. And the United States is fully committed to doing its part. »

The Shangrila Dialogue is a unique platform for debate between ministers and senior officials, as well as business leaders and security experts, on developing security challenges in Asia.

The dialogue includes plenary debates led by government ministers, as well as important opportunities for bilateral discussions between delegations.

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