Tillerson to visit India, Pakistan next week

Rex Tillerson's speech set tone of India-US bilateral ties for 100 years: Official

"India and the U.S. are working towards shared security goals".

"Based on the purposes and principles of the United Nations charter, we will firmly uphold multilateralism, yet we will also firmly safeguard our own rights and interests", Lu said.

The Times of India suggests India's government appreciated Tillerson's critique of both China and Pakistan and embraced Tillerson's call for a "shared commitment to a rule-based global order".

Heather Nauert said that Secretary will build on the positive conversations he and the Vice President have had with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's recent visit to the Unites States. In Islamabad, Tillerson will stress "Pakistan's critical role in the success of our South Asia strategy", the State Department said. "We look forward to welcoming him in India next week for detailed discussions on further strengthening of our partnership", the statement said.

"The China-US strategic, and even economic, rivalry will continue to grow, it will be more profound, and more prominent", he said.

Tillerson, in the first major foreign policy speech on October 18, said the USA is India's "reliable partner" at the world stage in this period of uncertainty and angst, sending a strong signal to side with India amidst China's "provocative actions" in the region.

"The United States seeks constructive relations with China, but we will not shrink from China's challenges to the rules-based order and where China subverts the sovereignty of neighboring countries and disadvantages the U.S. and our friends", Tillerson told the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank.

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For the same reason, most observers in China are puzzled about why Tillerson chose to criticize China so sharply ahead of Trump's visit.

Advocating stronger India-US relations for the next 100 years, Tillerson said China, while rising alongside India, has done so less responsibly. The US defence secretary James Mattis had raised the idea again during a visit to New Delhi last month, the Indian government said.

There are other sources of tension between the two countries as well.

China's state-run media outlets have also criticised India for levying anti-dumping duties on 93 categories of Chinese-made products, including steel, plastic, electronics and rubber.

"It's a speech that was designed for many audiences", the official said.

Given these tensions, this a sensitive time for India and the USA to loudly proclaim their stance against China in the Pacific, although Indian officials have previously expressed their support for the model of quadrilateral co-operation. Reacting to Tillerson's remarks, beijing had expressed hope that the United States would put China's development and its positive role in the world into perspective and also "abandon its biased views of China".

Despite his restraint from countering Tillerson directly, Lu expressed China's stance clearly as well: "China will by no means pursue its own development at the expense of other countries' interests. We share a vision of the future", he said.

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