- GLOBAL SECURITY - Oct 26, 2020 -
Jim Garamone -
The relationship between the world's two largest democracies is among the most consequential of the 21st century, administration officials said in a phone call before the "two-plus-two" meeting between U.S. and Indian officials in New Delhi.
"Two-plus-two" refers to the U.S. secretary of state and defense secretary meeting with their counterparts in India. This is the third meeting at this level, and it's the second for Defense Secretary Dr. Mark T. Esper.
The U.S. and Indian relationship has warmed considerably and the increased frequency and candor of these meetings is a reflection of this. "The two-plus-two ministerial will serve as a capstone to review our many accomplishments, as well as lay down next steps for the U.S.-India comprehensive, global strategic partnership," an administration official said.
India and the United States cooperate in economic, diplomatic and information areas, and the military cooperation between the two nations is also increasing.
Given China's increasingly aggressive behavior from Africa to the Himalayas to the South China Sea to Oceania, it is crucial that like-minded states oppose Chinese Communist Party efforts to reshape the international order in its favor.
China has committed to changing the international order put in place in the wake of World War II that stopped major power confrontation. The international order is based on respect for the sovereignty of all nations, large and small. The existing order has benefited all nations of the Indo-Pacific region including China, which has grown to be the world's second-largest economy under the protections of the existing system.
Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore and more are affected by the Chinese push to change the norms in the region. U.S. treaty allies — including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and the Philippines — are also affected. The Chinese actions have raised alarms across the region, and they are pushing the democracies to work together to oppose the Chinese vision for the Indo-Pacific.