Border tensions reflect growing Chinese aggression, assertion: Pentagon official

Lalit K Jha

Washington / New Delhi

The current India-China border tensions reflect a disturbing trend of growing Chinese aggression and assertion in the region and towards allies and partners of the United States, Joe Biden’s pick for top Pentagon policy job, Colin Kahl, has told lawmakers.

In his submission to the members of the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing for Defence Under Secretary for Policy, Kahal, however, expressed the United States’ resolve to stand by its allies and partners.

"The India-China border tensions reflect a concerning trend of growing aggressiveness and assertiveness by China in the region, including towards allies and partners of the United States," said Kahl.

“We will, however, continue to stand by our allies and partners and support their ongoing efforts to deescalate the situation. If confirmed, I will continue to monitor the situation closely as both parties work toward a peaceful resolution," he said, in his written answers to the questions for his confirmation hearing.

The past decade has seen promising trends in the US-India defence trade and technology relationship, he said, adding if confirmed, he will work to sustain these trends, including through a focus on major procurements and high-end technology.

Responding to a question on India, Kahl said if confirmed, he would continue to operationalise India's status as a "Major Defence Partner" by positioning the US and Indian militaries to cooperate more closely to advance shared interests in the Indo-Pacific region.

"To this end, I would support efforts to strengthen interoperability, expand bilateral and multilateral security cooperation across the region and deepen defence trade and technology sharing," he said.

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