The United States has declared India a driving force for the Quad and an engine of regional growth, days after the fourth meeting of the strategic security bloc was held in Melbourne, Australia.
Foreign Minister S Jaishankar led the Indian side in the Quad meeting held on February 11, while the United States was represented by Secretary of State Tony Blinken. The Quad or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue includes India, the United States, Japan and Australia.
“We recognize that India is a like-minded partner and leader in South Asia and the Indian Ocean, active and connected to South East Asia, a driving force for Quad and an engine of growth and regional development,” Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House’s top deputy press secretary, told reporters in Washington on Monday.
Pierre said that the Joe Biden administration will continue to build a strategic partnership in which the United States and India will work together to promote stability in South Asia, collaborate in new areas of cyberspace, health. She added that the two countries will also work together for a free and open Indo-Pacific.
On February 11, the United States released its new Indo-Pacific strategy, in which it recognized the growing challenge posed by China’s aggression in the Indo-Pacific as well as India’s centrality in the region, had previously reported the Hindustan Times.
The recent Quad summit discussed India-China relations which have taken a sour turn since the border skirmishes in 2020.
Jaishankar blamed Beijing for the current situation on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) due to non-compliance with written agreements.
“Yes, we (Quad) had a discussion about India-China relations because that was part of how we informed each other about what was happening in our neighborhood. And that’s an issue that a lot of countries are legitimately interested, especially if they are from the Indo-Pacific region,” Jaishankar said.
Referring to China, Jaishankar added that when a major country fails to live up to its written commitments, it is a legitimate concern for the entire international community.
(With contributions from the agency)