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India doesn’t have to choose between USA and China: Hagel
Publication Date : 10-08-2014
United States Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel yesterday said India should not see Beijing as a rival and New Delhi did not have to choose between its ties with Washington and China.
“Just like the USA need not choose between its Asian alliances and its constructive relationship with China, similarly India need not choose between its closer relationship with America and improved ties with China,” Hagel said.
Speaking at a function organised by the Observer Research Foundation, he said, “In our relations with Beijing, both Delhi and Washington, should see a healthy competition and we should avoid the traps of rivalry.”
He suggested that India and America should expand their defence ties and include Japan in their security cooperation partnership.
Hagel said the USA wants to work for a peaceful global order in which “China was also a trustee” and both India and America should continue to work with it in the future. Referring to the disputed South China Sea, he said both India and the USA favour a peaceful resolution of disputes and are for the freedom of navigation in the seas.
The US Defence Secretary said Indian and American security interests converge as “India continues to look east and the USA pursues strategic re-balance. These things headline the convergence of interests of our two nations”. He said as the security considerations of India and the USA converge, “the two countries should also converge their partnerships.’’