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US Provided Information and Equipment to India During Its Border Crisis with China: Pentagon Commander | India News

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WASHINGTON: The United States provided information, cold weather clothing and some other equipment to India during its recent border crisis with China, which has taken an increasingly assertive military stance to exert pressure and expand its influence in the region, said a senior commander of the Pentagon. he told US lawmakers.
Admiral Philips Davidson, commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command, also told the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that China’s recent activities along the Line of Royal Control (LAC) have opened the India’s eyes to what cooperative effort with others could mean for their country. own defensive needs, as he noted that New Delhi will deepen its engagement with the Quad in the very near term.
“India has long had an approach called strategic autonomy, you know, an approach not aligned with others, but I think without a doubt the activities throughout LAC with China have opened their eyes to what the cooperative effort with others. it could mean for your own defensive needs. ” Admiral Davidson told lawmakers during the Congressional hearing.
“We have provided information to India on that crisis, cold weather closure, clothing, some other equipment, some things like that, and in recent years, we have been deepening our maritime cooperation,” he said.
China moved more than 60,000 well-armed troops who were mobilized for annual exercises to contentious areas such as Lake Pangong in eastern Ladakh in May last year, prompting India to match the PLA mobilization that led to a clash of more than eight months.
After long rounds of talks, the two sides simultaneously withdrew troops from the Pangong Lake area last month, while talks are underway for the withdrawal of soldiers from the rest of the areas along the Royal Line of Control. (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.
“I think you will see India in the very short term, you know, you will remain committed to their non-aligned approach, but I think they will deepen their commitment to the Quad, and I think that is a key strategic opportunity for us, Australia, and Japan.” Davidson said, ahead of the first Quad Leaders Summit in which top leaders from Australia, India, Japan and the United States will participate on Friday.
US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the first Quad Leaders Summit in virtual format on Friday along with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.
During the summit, Quad leaders will discuss regional and global issues of shared interest and exchange views on practical areas of cooperation to maintain a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
The admiral was responding to a question from Senator Angus King. “That would be a great geopolitical breakthrough if India aligned itself more closely with those other countries,” King said in response to the admiral’s response.
“India has always been a neutral country, so to speak. Are we developing a stronger alliance with them? You mentioned them as part of the Quad. Do you consider yourself members of something of that nature?” King asked.
In November 2017, India, Japan, the US, and Australia shaped the long-pending proposal to establish the Quad to develop a new strategy to keep critical shipping lanes in the Indo-Pacific free from any influence.
The United States has been favoring making Quad a security architecture to control China’s growing assertiveness.
Admiral Davidson also said that the current state of US-Indian relations presents a historic opportunity to deepen bilateral defense ties and solidify what he described as the “defining partnership of the 21st century.”
The U.S. and Indian navies are now securely sharing information, and India has substantially increased its procurement of American defense equipment, he said.
The United States strongly supports India’s establishment of an information fusion center focused on maritime domain awareness, which will enhance maritime security in the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal region, he said.
The two countries, he said, concluded several agreements, including the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) in 2018, which has vastly improved information sharing and interoperability.
The Industrial Security Annex (ISA), signed in December 2019, allows the transfer of technologies in support of defense production, while the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) allows the sharing of unclassified geospatial information. The two countries also signed an agreement on the exchange of information from the Navy to the Navy in October 2020.
“Defense sales are at an all-time high with India operating US-sourced platforms such as P-8, C-130J, C-17, AH-64, CH-47, Excalibur precision guided munitions and M777 howitzers.” He told lawmakers, adding that in February India agreed to acquire $ 3.1 billion worth of multi-mission Apache and MH-60R helicopters and is considering other US systems.
USINDOPACOM defines the security relationship with India as a strategic imperative, Davidson said.
“We expect substantial progress in interoperability and information sharing, service level and joint cooperation between military and exercises such as TIGER TRIUMPH and MALABAR, and increased quadrilateral collaboration between India, Australia, Japan, and the United States as a relationship. it keeps maturing, ”he said.

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