Tillerson's speech a significant policy statement on ties with US

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to deliver major India policy speech today

Secretary of State Tillerson's address at the Center for Strategic Studies was created to set the stage for his visit next week to New Delhi. While appreciating Tillerson's remarks, New Delhi must make it clear that it will not be coaxed into taking a position which does not align with its own clear strategic imperatives.

Washington D.C. [U.S.A.], October 18 (ANI): The United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, pulled up Pakistan and China, while delivering remarks on his first major policy speech on India.

India on Friday welcomed the statement of American Secretary of State and said that it shared with the USA the commitment to a rule-based worldwide order. Haley's statement is most inappropriate at a time when Pak-US relations are moving towards improvement.

Tillerson said the USA and India are "bookends of stability" on either side of the globe, noting the nations share a commitment to upholding the rule of law, freedom of navigation, universal values and free trade. Tillerson has said China can do more to coerce North Korea into giving up its nuclear-weapons program.

Advocating stronger India-US relations for the next 100 years, Tillerson said China, while rising alongside India, has done so less responsibly.

"China's provocative actions in the South China Sea directly challenge the global law and norms that the United States and India both stand for", Tillerson said in an address at the Centre for Strategic and worldwide Studies, a Washington think tank.

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He added that the USA seeks constructive relations with China but "won't shrink" from the challenges it poses when it "subverts the sovereignty of neighboring countries, and disadvantages the US and our friends".

The Secretary of State said India and China both have risen over the past decades to become global powers.

"We are happy to see the development of relations between these countries as long as they are conducive to the peaceful development of the region and enhancement of relations among the regional countries", he said. He contrasted their paths, though, saying China "has done so less responsibly, at times undermining the worldwide, rules-based order - even as countries like India operate within a framework that protects other nations' sovereignty".

A statement from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday hailed the speech and also sought to underline the congruence of views between India and the USA on China's assertiveness in the South China Sea, as well as New Delhi and Washington DC's misgivings over Beijing's "One Belt, One Road" (OBOR) infrastructure project. "We would like to help take the tensions down on both of those", he said. Pakistan has two very troubled borders.

"The Secretary's visit to India will advance the ambitious agenda laid out by President Trump and Prime Minister Modi during the Prime Minister's visit to the White House in June", she said.

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