Indian leadership is greatly needed in the Asia Pacific region and US is all set to cooperate with India “as never before”, a top US diplomat said.
Richard Verma, the US ambassador to India, reported that US is going to fully cooperate with India. He also added that US Defense Secretary Ash Carter will come back to India in April. This will be the defense secretary’s unprecedented third visit in less than a year, reported the Associate Press.
Verma addressed a group of journalists in New Delhi and said, “I hope that in the not-too-distant future the United States and Indian Navy vessels steaming together will become a common and welcome sight throughout Indo-Pacific water.”
Verma noted that the ties between US military and India were becoming more and more close. He added that US has offered to provide Indian forces with Apache attack helicopters which are the most advance helicopters in the US inventory. He stated, “Chinook heavy lift helicopters and M777 howitzers are akin to our defense relationships with our closest NATO allies.”
China, on the other hand, accuses US of militarizing the Asia-Pacific region. The country said that patrols by US Navy Vessels and military aircrafts have increased tension in the region. However, other countries in the region have welcomed the presence of US.
Recently, there were reports that China has positioned surface-to-air missile launchers in one of its contested islands in South China Sea. US Secretary of State John Kerry stated US would have serious discussions with China regarding the issue. Kerry said that there were evidences that China was increasing its military presence in the South China Sea and it was of serious concern. The satellite images showed two batteries of surface-to-air missile launchers and also a radar system in Wooly Island.
Although, China controls the Paracel Island chain, Wooly Island is a disputed land as it is claimed by Vietnam and Thailand as well. China, on the contrary, claimed that the sea defence system existed in the island for many years. The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the South Sea military deployments are just like the US deployments on Hawaii. China said that since US is not involved in the dispute there should be no problem between the two countries.
On the other hand, the Australian government was also set to question China regarding the issue.
Consequently, the declaration of US to cooperate with India is a matter that worries China, at the same time the US presence in the continent is a great relief to some other countries.