“Security and Stability in the Indo-Pacific Vital:” US Secretary of Defense Austin, India | India News

NEW DELHI: Ensuring security and stability in the critical Indo-Pacific region, with more bilateral and multilateral collaboration in the face of a belligerent China, is at the top of the Indo-American agenda during the Secretary’s visit to Lloyd J Austin defense here this weekend.
With the Biden administration making clear its intention to strengthen ‘alliances and partnerships’ in the Indo-Pacific to foster ‘credible deterrence’ against China, Austin called on the prime minister. Narendra Modi and met with the national security adviser Ajit Doval in the evening after landing in New Delhi on Friday at 4:40 p.m.

Modi, welcoming the “ warm and close ” ties between the two countries rooted in “ common values ​​of democracy, pluralism and commitment to a rules-based order ”, set out his vision bilateral strategic partnership during the meeting.

Austin, in turn, expressed the strong desire of the United States to further strengthen the bilateral strategic partnership for peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond.
The substantive meeting between the Minister of Defense Rajnath singh and Austin who is on the third stop of his first overseas tour after visiting Japan and South Korea with the Secretary of State Antony Blinken, will be Saturday morning.

Austin, a retiree Army General, will be briefed on India’s continuing military confrontation with China in eastern Ladakh, which is in its eleventh month now, officials said.
India and China undertook troop disengagement on both sides of Pangong Tso last month, but stalemate persists in Gogra, Hot Springs, Demchok and Depsang Plains, with general de-escalation and disintegration of troops in the region. high altitude still nowhere. on the horizon.
With India, the United States, Japan and Australia expressing their position against any “coercion” in the Indo-Pacific during their leaders’ Quad summit on March 12, their navies will join France in its “La Pérouse” exercise in the Bay of Bengal from April. 4 to 7, as previously indicated by TOI.
Wider defense cooperation is, of course, the cornerstone of the Indo-American strategic relationship. Although no new pacts or arms contracts are signed, officials say the delegation-level meeting between Singh and Austin will also focus on enhanced cooperation in intelligence sharing, counterterrorism and defense. awareness of the maritime domain, an official said.
Having already closed lucrative Indian arms deals worth more than $ 21 billion since 2007, the United States obviously wants more. India’s proposed $ 1.8 billion acquisition of six more P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft, which will be added to the 12 such aircraft already contracted for $ 3.2 billion more early, is one of those final stage deals.
With two rented MQ-9B Sea Guardian drones already in use for surveillance missions on the Indian Ocean Since last November, India has also finalized its plan to purchase 30 armed “hunter-killer” drones in the United States for more than $ 3 billion, as TOI first reported.
At Saturday’s meeting, India will also reiterate its argument for a waiver of the US law known as the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which was enacted in 2017 to prevent countries from buying weapons. Russian or Iranian oil.
This has become crucial as India will begin to introduce advanced S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile systems, under the $ 5.43 billion (Rs 40,000 crore) deal signed with Russia in 2018, at from October.
The Modi government has previously informed the United States that the acquisition of the S-400 is an “urgent national security requirement” for India. The five S-400 mobile squadrons will be gradually delivered to India by 2023. The United States has, incidentally, imposed financial sanctions on China and Turkey for bringing the S-400 systems from Russia.