US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that he is confident that the world's free nations will join together to face the challenges from China to India and other countries in Asia.
"I think that the whole world is coalescing around the challenge that we face (from China)... I am confident that democracies, the free nations of the world, will push back on these," he said while replying to a question about the Chinese confrontation with India in the Ladakh region.
He said that India was "an important partner" of the US and "I have a great relationship with my Foreign Minister counterpart (S Jaishankar). We talk frequently about a broad range of issues. We talked about the conflict that they had along the border with China, we talked about the threat that emanates from the Chinese telecommunication infrastructure".
He mentioned India's ban on 56 Chinese apps from operating on cell phones within the country because of the threat to the country's security.
On China's claims to the maritime territories of Asian countries and aggressive actions there, he said that the US "will use the tools we have, we will support all countries across the world that recognise that China has violated their territorial claims, their maritime claims as well. We will provide them with assistance".
China has maritime conflicts with Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, the Philippines, Vietnam, Japan and Taiwan and has increased its aggressive conduct in the region even as its troops clashed with the Indian Army in Ladakh.
(Arul Louis can be reached at email@example.com and followed on Twitter at @arulouis)
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