India has been a great American partner, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday, noting that he frequently talks with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar on a broad range of issues, including the conflict it had along the border with China. The troops of India and China are locked in an over eight-week standoff in several areas in eastern Ladakh including Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley and Gogra Hot Spring since May 5. The situation deteriorated last month following the Galwan Valley clashes that left 20 Indian Army personnel dead.
"India has been a great partner. They are an important partner of ours. I have a great relationship with my foreign minister counterpart. We talked frequently about a broad range of issues. We talked about the conflict they had along the border with China. We've talked about the risk that emanates from Chinese telecommunication infrastructure there," Pompeo told reporters here. Pompeo also referred to India's decision to ban a number of Chinese apps.
India last month banned 59 Chinese apps, including TikTok and UC Browser, saying they were prejudicial to the sovereignty, integrity and security of the country. "You saw the decision they made to ban some several dozen Chinese software firms from operating inside of their country on the phones of people operating inside of India," he said.
"I think the whole world is coalescing around the challenge that we face and that democracies, that free nations of the world will push back on these challenges together. I'm very confident of that," said the top American diplomat. Responding to a question, Pompeo said that America's behaviour with China has changed due to the change in behaviour of the latter.
"I think it's worth noting the reason for that change is the Chinese Communist Party's behaviour. That's important. I listen to some of the narrative that--that flows out of China, some of the disinformation, and people use language like tit-for-tat. These are to tit for tat exchanges," he said. "This is America standing up for its own people and the world now coming to understand the threat that the Chinese Communist Party is. So, to the extent there's been a change in relationship, it is a direct result of the behaviour of the Chinese Communist Party. And so, when that stops, we'll do that," Pompeo said.