Washington, February 12
India is beset with significant geopolitical challenges, in particular from China and its behaviour on the Line of Actual Control, the White House has said, while releasing its Indo-Pacific Strategic Report.
The strategic report, released on Friday, is the President Joe Biden-led administration's first region-specific report. It outlines the president's vision to firmly anchor the United States' position in the Indo-Pacific, strengthen the region and support India's rise and regional leadership in the process.
"We will continue to build a strategic partnership in which the United States and India work together and through regional groupings to promote stability in South Asia; collaborate in new domains such as health, space, and cyberspace; deepen our economic and technology cooperation; and contribute to a free and open Indo-Pacific," the White House said.
"We recognise that India is a like-minded partner and leader in South Asia and the Indian Ocean, active in and connected to Southeast Asia, a driving force of the Quad and other regional fora, and an engine for regional growth and development," the White House statement added. However, a senior US official, on condition of anonymity, pointed out the significant challenges New Delhi is beset with.
"But India faces very significant challenges. China's behaviour on the Line of Actual Control has had a galvanising impact on India. From our standpoint, we see tremendous opportunities in working with another democracy - with a country that has a maritime tradition that understands the importance of the global commons - to advance critical issues in the region,” said the White House official.
"There is tremendous appreciation of the importance and the challenges of strengthening the engagement with India and a recognition that India is a critical strategic partner, and a desire to continue building on the very good work of previous administrations to significantly broaden and deepen that relationship,” the official said.
The official made the candid observations while briefing reporters on the release of the new regional strategy. The senior administrator said the previous US administrations, including the previous one led by President Donald Trump, had done a great job in the Indo-Pacific region.
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