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‘India-China Border Tensions Reflect China’s Growing Aggression and Affirmation’ | India News

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WASHINGTON: The current border tensions between India and China reflect an unsettling trend of increasing Chinese aggression and assertion in the region and toward America’s allies and partners, Colin Kahl, chosen by Biden for the top policy post of the US, told lawmakers. Pentagon.
In his presentation to members of the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing for Under Secretary for Defense Policy, Kahal, however, expressed the determination of the United States to support its allies and partners.
“The border tensions between India and China reflect a worrying trend of increasing aggressiveness and assertiveness on the part of China in the region, including towards US allies and partners,” Kahl said.
“However, we will continue to support our allies and partners and support their continued efforts to reduce the situation. If confirmed, I will continue to monitor the situation closely as both parties work towards a peaceful resolution, ”he said, in his written responses to questions for his confirmation hearing.
The past decade has seen promising trends in the defense trade and technology relationship between the United States and India, he said, adding that if confirmed, he will work to maintain these trends, including through a focus on major acquisitions and high-end technology. .
Responding to a question on India, Kahl said that if confirmed, he will continue to operationalize India’s status as a “Senior Defense Partner” by positioning the US and Indian armies to cooperate more closely to promote shared interests in the Indian region. Indo-Pacific.
“To this end, it would support efforts to strengthen interoperability, expand bilateral and multilateral security cooperation throughout the region, and deepen trade and defense technology exchange,” he said.
He added that he would also take advantage of high-level bilateral and multilateral engagements with like-minded partners to strengthen the relationship.
“To continue to elevate the US-India partnership, I would prioritize some promising areas of cooperation. These include deepening mutual logistics and information exchange operations, growing our defense technology and trade relationship, and expanding high-level cooperation in the maritime domain, including in the Indian Ocean region and southeast of Asia, ”Kahl said.
“Importantly, it would also seek to expand multilateral cooperation with like-minded partners in the region, including through the Quad, the mechanisms of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other regional commitments,” he added.
Responding to questions from senators during his confirmation hearing Thursday, Kahl said the biggest opportunity is the growing concern and recognition that a more assertive China has produced.
“I mean, I think a lot of our allies and partners are nervous. Frankly, I think that the pandemic and China’s early cover-up of the pandemic, and some of its wolf warrior diplomacies that ended hard during the pandemic, have also created opportunities for us to lean on countries that are increasingly concerned about Beijing, ”he said. saying.
“I could not agree more with you on the importance of emphasizing our alliances and our alliances. It’s one of the biggest asymmetric advantages the United States has. No other world power has a network of allies and partners than we do. And if they confirm me, a big part of my job will be to foster those relationships, “he added.
The United States has enormous opportunities in the Indo-Pacific, he said.
“I think the last administration took some important steps in this area, as did the Obama administration. I think we have opportunities to work not only with our treaty allies like Japan, South Korea, Australia and the Philippines, but also with countries like Singapore and Vietnam and others in ASEAN. And I think there are growing opportunities with India. So actually, I think this is an area where we have a huge possibility, ”Kahl said.
Senator Jack Reed, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the United States must take a long-term approach to strategic competition with China, a challenge that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has appropriately described as the threat of pace to the Department of Defense.
“Competing effectively with China requires that we develop new technologies to compete with China’s advances in new operational concepts to ensure the desired effect against Chinese aggression,” he said.
According to Kahl, China is the only country in the world that can systematically challenge the United States economically, technologically, militarily and, frankly, in shaping the international order more broadly.

Times of India

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