Two days after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson outlined the Indo-Pacific as a major theme in a scene-setting speech ahead of his India visit next week, New Delhi on Friday "appreciated" his "positive evaluation" of the relationship and said it "shared his optimism" on the future direction of Indo-US ties. And he said the "pretty thick skin and thick armor" he developed as CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp. helped him shrug off rumors about tensions with Trump and reports that he's considered resigning over differences with the president. Again, Tillerson spoke effusively about the sale of hi-tech weapons, but never once mentioned co-production, as India does for certain weapons with Russian Federation, leave alone any nod to 'Make in India'.
"Pak-US ties have improved, no doubt, but we are having a tough time on the diplomatic front". Tillerson's intention to send a friendly message to India is more understandable, as he is scheduled to visit New Delhi and "meet with senior Indian leaders" in the next few days. While President Donald Trump has looked to deepen cooperation with China on addressing the nuclear threat from North Korea, he's also sought a closer relationship with India, which shares US worries on Islamic extremism. "He brought out its various strengths and highlighted our shared commitment to a rule-based worldwide order", MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, referring to the distinction the USA functionary drew between India and China. He visited China earlier this month and is likely to accompany Trump on his trip, which will include a stop in Beijing. The US has begun "quite conversation" with east Asian countries on alternatives to Chinese infrastructure financing, Tillerson said.
Still, India will be watchful of entrapment in the U.S. maneuvering vis-à-vis China and Pakistan. "The United States seeks constructive relations with China", said Tillerson.
He said the world needed the USA and India to have a strong partnership.
"There's been real progress there, " Pompeo said at a conference in Washington.
The People's Daily Online threw in a pre-buttal from China's ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai, who wrote before Tillerson delivered his remarks that a "zero-sum mentality" about American competition with China for global leadership is "outdated".
Tillerson and Trump have sent conflicting public messages about US policy on global hot spots, including North Korea-Trump tweeted that Tillerson was "wasting his time" by pursuing negotiations-and Tillerson also appeared to criticize the president's response to the deadly protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August.
The secretary of state had said that while China challenged rule-based order and subverted sovereignty of its neighbours, "countries like India operate within a framework that protects other nation's sovereignty".