The US Defense Ministry, Lloyd Austin, has described this Saturday as a “priority” the relationship with India in defense matters given the “strategic challenges” in the Asian region, without mentioning China.
Austin has held a meeting with the Indian Defense Minister, Rajnath Singh, during his visit to New Delhi and they have discussed joint military maneuvers and have proposed promoting the cooperative relationship in matters such as information sharing, logistics or intelligence artificial.
They have also discussed improving cooperation with like-minded partners in multilateral forums such as the Quad, the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, considered a bastion against the growing Chinese influence in the region. Includes Australia, India, Japan and the United States.
“In a world facing a global pandemic and challenges to the open and stable international system, the United States-India relationship is a bulwark for a free Indo-Pacific region,” Austin said after meeting Singh.
Austin’s trip includes stops in South Korea, Japan and India and is seen as an attempt to strengthen alliances with China. During his stay in India that began on Friday, he has held meetings with the prime minister, Narendra Modi, and his national security adviser, Ajit Doval.