File photo Photograph:( Zee News Network )
India and US have come closer in the last two decades, from Clinton to Bush to Obama to the Trump administration. But it was only in the Trump admin, the focus increasingly on the Indo Pacific as a vision, backed both by New Delhi and Washington.
Just a week before the Trump administration finishes its term, it has declassified one of the most crucial documents--the United States Strategic framework for the Indo-Pacific that gives an overarching view of Washington's policy for the region and New Delhi.
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The declassified document sees India as "net provider of security" with the object of the framework being to "solidify an enduring strategic partnership with India" which is "underpinned by a strong Indian military able to effectively collaborate with the US."
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India and US have come closer in the last two decades, from Clinton to Bush to Obama to the Trump administration. But it was only in the Trump administration, the focus was increasingly on the Indo Pacific as a vision, backed both by New Delhi and Washington.
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The declassified document calls for offering "support to India--through diplomatic, military, and intelligence channels--to help address continental challenges such as the border dispute with China and access to water, including the Brahmaputra and other rivers facing diversion by China"
While this document was approved in February 2018, the support on intelligence-sharing in China stands out amid the many month-long Line of actual (LAC) row between India-China. 2020 was one of the worst years in the New Delhi-Beijing relationship as aggressive Chinese forces tried to change the status quo in Eastern Ladakh.
The document, calls for building "a stronger foundation for defense cooperation and interoperability" between New Delhi and Washington with a focus on the expansion of "defense trade and increase cooperation on shared regional security concerns"
The focus is also on enhancing connectivity by "working with India and Japan to help finance projects that enhance regional connectivity". This comes even as China under its mega Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been expanding connectivity in south Asia and the wider region but leaving a trail of debt, being referred to as Beijing's "debt-trap diplomacy".
On China, the document has been scathing, with a focus on "countering Chinese predatory economic practices that freeze out foreign competition" and working closely with "allies and like-minded countries to prevent Chinese acquisition of military and strategic capabilities"
The document was released by the US national security council and the white house said, the aim to release it is to "communicate to the American people and to our allies and partners" Washington's "enduring commitment" to keeping the "Indo-Pacific region free and open long into the future."