US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson delivered his first major policy speech on India today on “Defining Our Relationship with India for Next Century” at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a top American think tank.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson delivered his first major policy speech on India today on “Defining Our Relationship with India for Next Century” at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a top American think tank. He spoke extensively on the relationship between India and the US as well as the equation with China and Pakistan. Tillerson started off the proceedings by saying, “Let me begin by wishing everyone a very happy Diwali.” Thereafter, he went on to explain the US stance on a number of policy initiatives.
Tillerson juxtaposed the rise of India and its bigger neighbour and said, “China, while rising alongside India, has done so less responsibly.” Elaborating further on the issue, he added, “Need to collaborate with India to ensure that Indo-Pacific is region of peace and stability.”
On the common ground that US and India have on freedom of seas, Tillerson said, “China’s provocative actions in South China Sea directly challenge the international law and norms that US and India both stand for.”
Indicating the positive nature of the India-US relationship, Tillerson said “I do look forward to returning to Delhi next week, first time in my official capacity. This visit could not come at a more promising time for US-India relationship.”
Speaking about spreading tentacles of terrorism across the globe and the immediate region, Tillerson said, “It is the obligation, not choice of every civilized nation to combat terrorism. US and India stand shoulder to shoulder against terrorism. In the last decade our counter terrorism cooperation has expanded significantly.”
Speaking directly about the immediate region in South Asia, Tillerson said, “Expect Pakistan to take decisive action against terrorist groups based on their own region.”
Tillerson concluded by saying, “We look forward to US-India ‘2 plus 2’ inaugural dialogue with PM Modi and President Trump.”
Coming back to the India-US ties Tillerson said, “US has chosen wisely in terms of India as a strategic partner.”
On the role of private sector in India, especially the in the tech sphere, Tillerson said, “Exchange of technologies and ideas between Bengaluru and Silicon Valley is changing the world.”
On ever deepening India-US economic ties, Tillerson had this to say, “US FDI jumped by 500% in last two years alone and last year our bilateral trade had a record of roughly $115 billion.”
On the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, Tillerson indicated the course of action that India should be taking without actually saying so directly. He said, “Understand you have rebels and terrorists in that part but you must be disciplined and restrained in dealing with them. Have been asking for access to the region for first hand account.”