The growing trust between the United States and India can be seen from the deepening security co-operation between the two largest democracies of the world, Defense Secretary James Mattis has said. The US seeks a constructive, results-oriented relationship with Beijing, Mattis said while addressing at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute on Saturday.
"In the Indo-Pacific region, we keep our decades-old alliances strong by building new partnerships. From this year's historic visit of the USS Carl Vinson, to Vietnam, to our deepening security cooperation with India, which shows the growing trust between the world's two largest democracies, both Pacific powers," Mattis said.
"But we do not accept predatory economic practices, or coercion of smaller states. No one nation can, on its own, change the international order or veto other nations' diplomatic, economic or security decisions," he added.
He has had several meetings with his Chinese counterpart in recent months, Mattis said as he responded to questions.
"There's no doubt in my mind that China wants to return to what it believes is its rightful place in the world as a great nation,” he said.
"I believe that we're going to have to find ways to work with China, two nuclear-armed powers, superpowers, in a manner that when we step on each other's toes, which may happen from time to time, we have a way to manage those issues, and we are working quietly, and I would say quite closely together, my Chinese counterpart and myself, Secretary Pompeo and State Counselor Yang, we are working on trying to craft that way ahead," Mattis said.
The Trump Administration is looking for cooperation with China.
"We will confront them where we must. But it is now our desire to end up in that situation; it's to find a way to manage a new relationship," he said.
"I believe 10 years from now, 15 years from now, what the Trump administration will be most remembered for, were we able to create that new way to operate with China? Where we able to create a mechanism by which we could maneuver on the world stage economically, diplomatically, security-wise and keep the peace, and not stumble into a miscalculation?" said the defence secretary.