Trump wants “dramatically deepen” cooperation with New Delhi says Tillerson

Vastavam web: U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said before a visit to India next week that the Trump administration wanted to “dramatically deepen” cooperation with New Delhi, seeing it as a key partner in the face of negative Chinese influence in Asia.In another comment likely to upset Beijing, he said Washington saw room to invite others, including Australia, to join U.S.-India-Japan security cooperation, something Beijing has opposed as an attempt by democracies to gang up on it.

The remarks coincide with the start of a week-long Chinese Communist Party congress at which President Xi Jinping is seeking to further consolidate his power.“India and the United States should be in the business of equipping other countries to defend their sovereignty, build greater connectivity, and have a louder voice in a regional architecture that promotes their interests and develops their economies,” Tillerson added.

The U.S. decision to expand relations with India almost certainly will upset India’s rival, Pakistan, where Tillerson also will stop next week, said a senior State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity.As part of a South Asia strategy unveiled by Trump in August, Tillerson is expected to press Islamabad, which denies aiding the Taliban, to take stronger steps against extremists and allied groups and intensify efforts to pressure them to agree to peace talks with Kabul.Trump has threatened further cuts in U.S. aid to Pakistan if it fails to cooperate.

China, a strategic rival to the United States and India, is also vital to Trump’s efforts to roll back North Korea’s efforts to create nuclear-armed missiles capable of reaching the United States, an issue expected to top the agenda in Trump’s Nov. 8-10 Beijing visit.In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China hoped the United States could abandon bias when viewing its actions overseas.

“China will never develop itself at the expense of other countries,” Lu told a regular briefing on Thursday. “At the same time we will never give up our justly deserved rights and interests.”Tillerson did not say what he meant by creating an alternative to Chinese infrastructure financing, but said the Trump administration had begun a “quiet conversation” with some emerging East Asian democracies at a summit in August.He said Chinese financing was saddling countries with “enormous” debts and failing to create jobs.