Pompeo commends ban on Chinese apps, phrases clashes ‘initiated’ by PLA in Ladakh ‘unacceptable behaviour’

Speaking at the USIBC India Ideas Summit, the US Secretary of State said India has a chance to attract global supply chains away from China and reduce its reliance on Chinese companies

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday said the recent clashes “initiated” by the Chinese military against India in eastern Ladakh are the latest examples of the “unacceptable behaviour” of the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

He also praised India’s decision to ban 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok, which he said are “security risks” to the Indian people.

“It’s important that democracies like ours work together, especially as we see more clearly than ever the true scope of the challenge posed by the Chinese communist party,” he said.

“Our infrastructure projects, our supply chains, our sovereignty, and our people’s health and safety are all at risk. If we get it wrong…”Pompeo said in his virtual keynote address to the annual ‘India Ideas Summit’ of the US India Business Council.

“The recent clashes initiated by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are just the latest examples of the Chinese Communist Party’s unacceptable behaviour. We were deeply saddened by the deaths of 20 Indian service members. I’m confident that with our concerted efforts, we can protect our interests,” he said.

The troops of India and China are locked in a standoff in several areas along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh since 5 May. The situation deteriorated last month following the Galwan Valley clashes that left 20 Indian Army personnel dead.

Pompeo commended India’s recent decision to ban 59 Chinese mobile apps, including TikTok that present serious security risks for the Indian people.

He said he was happy to report that India is a “rising US defense and security partner, in the Indo-Pacific and globally,” he said. Asserting that the United States has never been more supportive of India’s security, he said New Delhi too, is an important partner and a key pillar of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy.

“We work closely together to make sure that the world intellectual property organisation election was won by someone who respects property rights. It seems pretty basic,” he said.

Pompeo noted that the so-called quad compile comprised by the US, India, Japan and Australia has been revived. “India is also part of a group of like-minded nations that I’ve convened regularly to advance shared interests,” he said.

He also noted that the US has also invited Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi to the next G-7 (summit), where the leaders will advance the economic prosperity network.

The G-7 is a group of countries and organisations that the US considers natural partners because they share values like democracy and transparency and the rule of law.

India, Pompeo said, has a chance to attract global supply chains away from China and reduce its reliance on Chinese companies in like telecommunications, medical supplies and others.

India is in this position because it has earned the trust of many nations around the world, including the United States, he said.

We also had to work with India to advance the Blue Dot Network, an initiative to promote high quality, transparent infrastructure development, he said, adding that this effort is crucial to adopt because free markets are the best way to lift people out of poverty. India has seen that in its own recent past, he noted.

He said that is an especially vital truth to remember today because the private sector will be indispensable and overcoming the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic that began in Wuhan, China.

“But as I said last year to achieve these worthy goals, India will need to encourage an environment that is more open to increased trade and investment,” Pompeo said.

“I know that’s possible because Indians and Americans share a spirit of hard work and entrepreneurship, and I’m confident our partnership is only getting stronger,” Pompeo said.

The United States, he said, desires a new age of ambition in its relationship with India.

“We don’t just interact on a bilateral basis. We see each other for what we are great democracies, global powers and really good friends. India is one of a few trusted like-minded countries whose leaders I call on a regular basis for counsel and collaboration on issues that span continents,” Pompeo added.

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