US defence secretary Mark Esper stresses on closer ties with 'like-minded democracies such as India' amid China tensions

WION Web Team
Washington Published: Oct 21, 2020, 06.44 AM(IST)

File photo of US Defence Secretary Mark Esper. Photograph:( Reuters )

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The initiative named the Guidance for Development for Alliances and Partnerships(GDAP) aims to foster relations with partner countries in order to facilitate militaries cooperation and US arms sales.

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Tuesday called for strengthing relations with "like-minded democracies" to counter Russia and China.

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"America's network of allies and partners provides us an asymmetric advantage our adversaries cannot match," Esper said.

The initiative named the Guidance for Development for Alliances and Partnerships(GDAP) aims to foster relations with partner countries in order to facilitate militaries cooperation and US arms sales.
 
"China and Russia probably have fewer than 10 allies combined," the defence secretary said, adding,"the smaller the nation and the greater its needs, the heavier the pressure from Beijing."

Esper citing NATO and Malt's example said: "Examples like these illustrate the importance of aligning with like-minded nations, large and small, to maintain the free and open order that has served us all so very well for decades."

The defence secretary also highlighted the need to build closer ties with "like-minded democracies such as India and Indonesia". Esper is due to visit India next week.

"They all recognize what China is doing," he added.

"We must compete with China and Russia whose state-owned industries can fast-track military exports in ways that we cannot, and would never want to, in many cases," the defence secretary added.

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