‘India is crucial for US to counter China,’ says US Navy chief | world news

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US Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday said India would be a crucial partner for America in the future, playing a key role in the fight against China.

The remark comes as the idea that India’s border clashes with China in the Himalayas pose a two-pronged problem for Beijing is gaining traction among US strategists, Japanese newspaper Nikkei Asia reported.

Read also| S Jaishankar on Indo-China border: ‘The problem has not been solved’

“New Delhi, a strategic partner for the United States in the future”

At an in-person seminar in Washington, the highest-ranking US Navy officer said Thursday that he has spent more time traveling in India than with any other country because he views New Delhi as a strategic partner for the United States in the future. .

Referring to his five-day visit to India last year, Admiral Gilday said: “The Indian Ocean battlespace is becoming increasingly important to us. The fact that India and the China are currently having a small skirmish along their border…it’s strategically important.”

“They are now forcing China not only to look east, to the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, but they now have to look over their shoulder to India,” Admiral Gilday said during of the event organized by the Heritage Foundation.

“India should draw Chinese attention to the Himalayan border”

In June, when Quad leaders were meeting in Japan, former Pentagon official Elbridge Colby told Nikkei Asia that while India would not directly contribute to a local battle over Taiwan, it could attract China’s attention on the Himalayan border.

“What the United States and Japan need India to do is be as strong as possible in South Asia and effectively get China’s attention so that they have a problem. major on the second front,” said Colby, the lead author of the 2018 National Defense Strategy under former President Donald Trump.

India, meanwhile, is taking the same advantage of China’s struggles to cope with a strong US-Japan alliance around Taiwan, he said.

Indo-American exercise near LAC

In this context, a planned joint mountaintop exercise between the United States and India in October is seen as highlighting the potential second front for China, according to Nikkei Asia. The annual joint exercise Yudh Abhyas, which translates to “Practice of Warfare”, will be held in the Indian state of Uttarakhand from October 18-31.

Read also| China attacks Indo-US military exercise in October, says it violates bilateral agreements

While India has hosted the Yudh Abhyas exercise in Uttarakhand before, including in 2014, 2016 and 2018, these exercises have all taken place in the foothills, more than 300 km from the Chinese border.

This year’s exercises would take place at an altitude of over 3,000 meters in the Auli region of Uttarakhand, less than 100 km from the Line of Actual Control – the de facto border between India and the China, Nikkei Asia reported.

Earlier this year, columnist Brahma Chellaney wrote in Nikkei Asia that Indian activities in the Himalayas could help Taiwan’s defense.

That would be “tying down a full Chinese theater force, which could otherwise be employed against the island,” Chellaney explained while adding that such a two-pronged strategy must be coordinated with the United States.

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