In an exclusive interview to ThePrint’s Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta, US Secretary of State Pompeo says CCP is the root of troubles around the world, and countries are now recognising that.
India shouldn’t feel alone, or left to fend for itself : US Sec of State @SecPompeo tells ThePrint in this sharp interview.
India should “not feel alone” in its strategy to push back and stand up against an assertive “Chinese Communist Party” even as countries around the world are beginning to see the “threat posed by the Marxist-Leninist ideology”, US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo told ThePrint’s Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.
Pompeo, who was in New Delhi for 26 hours along with US Secretary of Defence Mark T. Esper said India is with like-minded countries such as the US, Australia and Japan, and can never feel alone in its struggle against the “Chinese Communist Party”.
“I have watched the relationship between the US, Japan, Australia and India grow, deepen, broaden. We are called the Quad but put the name aside for a moment, we are four big democracies, with big economies, with a shared view of rule of law and transparency. With these kinds of relationships, none of these countries are ever alone,” Pompeo said.
The top member of the Donald Trump cabinet also drew a parallel between what China is doing to Uighur Muslims and what Nazi Germany did to Jews in the 1930s.
Pompeo was in New Delhi for the third round of the India-US 2+2 ministerial dialogue, which resulted in the signing of a key defence pact, as both sides vowed to further strengthen their strategic partnership.
US signs key defence agreement with India, Pompeo says China ‘no friend to democracy’
As India and the US announced on Tuesday signing of the crucial military pact, Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), visiting US secretary of state Michael R Pompeo recalled the Galwan valley incident in June and said the US would “stand with the people of India to confront threats to their sovereignty and to their liberty”.
From the Hyderabad House lawns and with defence minister Rajnath Singh and external affairs minister S Jaishankar by their side, the visiting US ministers, Pompei and defence secretary Mark T Esper, launched a sharply worded attack on China.
The four of them were addressing the media after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi. While Pompeo said that Indian and US leaders and citizens see with “increasing clarity” that the Communist Party of China (CCP) is “no friend to democracy and rule of law”, Esper set his sights at Beijing as he flagged the “increasing aggression and destabilising activities by China”. Indian and Chinese soldiers are locked in a border standoff for more than five months and as the harsh winter begins, BECA will help New Delhi get real-time access to US geospatial intelligence that will enhance accuracy of automated systems and weapons like missiles and armed drones.
It will also help access topographical and aeronautical data and advanced products which will aid navigation and targeting. This could be key to Air Force-to-Air Force cooperation between India and the US. Singh and Jaishankar, however, did not name China, but talked about “respecting” and “upholding” the “territorial integrity and sovereignty” of all states — a not-so veiled reference to Beijing’s belligerence along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Pompeo, in his remarks, said: “The challenge of defeating the pandemic that came from Wuhan also fed into our robust discussion about the Chinese Communist Party. Our leaders, and our citizens, see with increasing clarity, that the CCP is no friend to democracy, the rule of law, transparency, nor to freedom of navigation, the foundation of a free and open and prosperous Indo-Pacific. I am glad to say that the United States and India are taking steps to strengthen cooperation against all manner of threats and not just those posed by the Chinese Communist Party.”
Recalling his visit to the war memorial in the capital this morning, Pompeo said: “We went…to honour the brave men and women of the Indian Armed forces who have sacrificed for the world’s largest democracy including 20 that were killed by the PLA forces in the Galwan valley in June. United States will stand with the people of India to confront threats to their sovereignty and to their liberty”.
Echoing this, Esper cited China as well: “The defence ties between our two nations remain a key pillar of our overall bilateral relationship. Based on our shared values and common interests, we stand shoulder to shoulder, in support of a free and open Indo Pacific for all, particularly in light of increasing aggression and destabilising activities by China.”
Growing India-US ties
Pompeo believes the growing bilateral ties between the US and India started “long before the Chinese Communist Party started causing as much trouble it’s causing today”.
“It’s built on a set of shared understanding — we are two democracies, big democracies, vibrant democracies, with lots of different views. The relationship is based on a shared understanding on how the world works, the rule of law and transparency, trade to make two nations better,” he highlighted.
“We have a lot of Indian students who come to the United States to study; we have a deep set of ties that go far beyond the current challenges presented by Chinese Communist Party,” said the 56-year-old leader.