US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met in the national capital where the duo discussed Indo-Pacific, and cooperation in specific niche technologies in maritime, military and aerospace domains. According to government officials, the two leaders also spoke on the greater transfer of technology, co-production and building indigenous capacities in line with India's Make in India and Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiatives.
Additionally, Austin and Doval stressed that nations in several regions, including the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia, and the Indo-Pacific retain their freedom of action in line with their national priorities and are not coerced into poor choices. In order to uplift industry-to-industry partnerships, Austin and Doval agreed to focus on trusted sources of supply, and resilient supply chains, the governmnet officials said. "In their discussion, NSA Doval and the US Defence Secretary underlined the strategic approach to tackling global challenges by utilising all available government resources, including interpersonal and societal relationships,' according to official.
During the meeting, the US side stated that India and Washington's global strategic partnership has continued to rapidly grow. India-US partnership is the cornerstone of a free and open Indo-Pacific. Both nations have established an ambitious roadmap for US-India defence industrial cooperation. The visiting United States Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin said that the world is witnessing bullying and coercion from China which was seeking to "redraw borders by force" and also threaten the national sovereignty of countries.
We see bullying and coercion from China: Austin
Addressing a press conference after holding a bilateral meeting with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, the US Defence Secretary said, "We face a rapidly changing world. We see bullying and coercion from China, Russian aggression against Ukraine that seeks to redraw borders by force and threatens national sovereignty, as well as transnational challenges, such as terrorism and climate change."
The US Defence Secretary highlighted the importance of joint military exercises between India and the US. Austin, who arrived in India a day ago today concluded a roadmap for Defence Industrial Cooperation with Rajnath Singh. Lloyd Austin arrived in Delhi on Sunday from Singapore as a part of his four-nation visit. Earlier today, Austin inspected a Tri-Services Guard of Honour in the presence of the Defence Minister at the Manekshaw Centre in Delhi. This is Austin's second visit to India. Previously, Lloyd Austin visited India in March 2021.
(With inputs from ANI)