India said today that it appreciates US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s positive evaluation of the Indo-US ties, asserting that New Delhi shares his optimism and looks forward to welcoming him here next week for discussions to strengthen the partnership. Secretary Tillerson has made a significant policy statement on India-US relations and its future, an external affairs ministry statement said. “He brought out its various strengths and highlighted our shared commitment to a rule-based international order. We look forward to welcoming him in India next week for detailed discussions on further strengthening of our partnership,” the statement said. Making a statement on “defining our relationship with India for the next century”, Tillerson last week had said the US is India’s “reliable partner” at the world stage in this period of uncertainty and angst. In a major India-policy speech, the first by the Trump administration, Tillerson had referred to the rise of China, saying its behaviour and action was “posing a challenge to the rules-based international order”.
“China, while rising alongside India, has done so less responsibly, at times undermining the international, rules-based order — even as countries like India operate within a framework that protects other nations’ sovereignty,” he had told a Washington audience ahead of his maiden visit to India as the top American diplomat.
“China’s provocative actions in the South China Sea directly challenge the international law and norms that the US and India both stand for,” he had said.