New York: President-elect Joe Biden's nominee to be the Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, on Tuesday, informed that the United States would continue to back India against China. Blinken, speaking at the confirmation meeting before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, assured India of support against China's attacks on its sovereignty and terrorism.
The cooperation in defence equipment and information sharing which had deepened under former President Brack Obama and was carried forth by Trump "including its concept of Indo-Pacific and to make sure we were working with India so that no country in the region including China could challenge its sovereignty and also working with it on concerns that we share about terrorism" would continue, noted Blinken. Blinken was responding to Republic Senator Mitt Romney's query regarding the recent India-China clashes.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had extended support to India following the skirmishes along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh last year. "The US will stand with the people of India as they confront threats to their sovereignty and their liberty," Pompeo said in New Delhi during a visit in October last year.
"I'm glad to say that the US and India are taking steps to strengthen our cooperation against all manner of threats, and not just those posed by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party)," he had added.
In the hearings preceding Biden's taking of the office on Wednesday, China featured in several discussions. "There is no doubt that it poses the most significant challenge of any nation," to US interests and there are "rising adversarial aspects to the relationship", Blinken said.
Blinken credited Trump for identifying the China challenge while expressing disagreements on how he went about it. "I also believe that President Trump was right in taking a tougher approach to China," he said.
Regarding the future of relations with India, Blinken said that he expected it to grow with cooperation on climate change, a priority for the new administration.