US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday minced no words to slam China over its recent border misadventures as he along with Defence Secretary Mark T Esper paid a visit to the National War Memorial in New Delhi.
Expressing his country's support for India in its attempt to safeguard its 'sovereignty', Pompeo said that it was evident that the ruling Communist Party in China was 'no friend to democracy'.
"Our leaders and citizens see with increasing clarity that Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is no friend to democracy, rule of law, transparency... I'm glad to say India and US are taking all steps to strengthen cooperation against all threats and not just those posed by CCP," news agency ANI quoted Mike Pompeo, as saying.
#WATCH: We visited National War Memorial to honour brave men & women of Indian armed forces who sacrificed for the world's largest democracy, including 20 killed by PLA in Galwan Valley. US will stand with India as they confront threats to their sovereignty, liberty: Mike Pompeo pic.twitter.com/CwHMAcA1wC— ANI (@ANI) October 27, 2020
"We visited National War Memorial to honour brave men and women of Indian armed forces who sacrificed for the world's largest democracy, including 20 killed by PLA in Galwan Valley. US will stand with India as they confront threats to their sovereignty, liberty," he went on to add.
Stop sowing seeds discord between China, regional countries: Beijing
Reacting to Pompeo, Esper's visit to India for the third edition of 2+2 dialogue, China said that the US should stop 'sowing discord between Beijing and countries in the region'. The two top US officials are also scheduled to visit Sri Lanka and the Maldives this week.
“Pompeo’s attacks and accusations against China are nothing new," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said.
"These are groundless accusations which reflect that he is clinging to the Cold War mentality and ideological biases. We urge him to abandon the Cold War and the zero-sum game mentality and stop sowing discord between China and regional countries as well as undermining the regional peace and stability," he added.
His remarks came amidst India and the US signing the landmark Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) that will allow sharing of high-end military technology, classified satellite data and critical information between the two countries.
The signing of the long-negotiated BECA between the two strategic partners also signals further boosting of bilateral defence and military ties, and it comes in the backdrop of India's tense border standoff with China in eastern Ladakh.
(With PTI inputs)