Describing China as the ‘elephant of the room’, US Secretary of State Stephen Begun said on Monday that India and the United States had been very cautious of China’s response. Speaking at the Ananta Center India-US Forum event, Begun said, “Of course, as we move in this direction, there is an elephant in the room here. That is China.
Let me tell you that there was a reference to saying elephant in Begun’s room that we can ignore an issue, but it is still not over. There has been tension between India and China for some time. Several rounds of negotiations have been held to reduce it, but the solution has not been reached.
“Last week I read the comments of retired Indian diplomat Ashok Kantha before the meeting of US Secretary of State S Jaishankar in Tokyo and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with their Japanese and Australian counterparts,” he said. I was particularly hurt by the comments he made. ”
He said, “I could not agree more with Ambassador Kantha. We have become very cautious. Last week’s important and successful Quad Ministry reassured the United States that perhaps we can say that we exist to build the strategic contacts to which Ambassador Kantha refers. ”
Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met in Tokyo last week for a ministerial dialogue between Australia, India, Japan and the US. Begun further noted that Washington appreciates New Delhi’s strategic autonomy, stating that there are vast opportunities in the United States’ security relationship with India.
The US Deputy Secretary said, “Thinking about the future, it is no secret that I see a huge opportunity in the United States security relationship with India. India has a strong and proud tradition of strategic autonomy and We respect that. ”
He said that the Trump administration does not want to change India’s traditions. Instead, we want to empower them to protect their sovereignty and democracy, and the ability of India to advance Indian interests in the Indo-Pacific region.
Begun arrived in New Delhi on Monday for his three-day visit aimed at advancing the United States-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership. External Affairs Minister Jaishankar met Begun on Monday and exchanged views on world politics and regional issues.
Let me tell you that the tussle between India and China has increased for some time. The relationship between the two countries has soured after the border dispute over LAC. It has also affected the business relations of the two countries.