US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has set tone for his visit and visit of Defence Secretary to India-Sri Lanka-Maldives-Indonesia next week by emphasising that US expects to discuss threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party to establish a free & open Indo-Pacific Region.
Pompeo would travel here for the third 2 plus 2 on October 26-27 on his second Asia trip in less than a month that would also take him to Maldives, Sri Lanka and Indonesia — key neighbours of India and players in the Indo-Pacific region. US engagement in Indian neighbourhood is key to balance Chinas inroads.
“Looking forward to my upcoming trip to India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Indonesia, for productive conversations with our friends and partners, and the US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue with” Defence Secretary Mark Esper and “our Indian” counterparts, Pompeo said, adding, “Each stop, he said, will include discussions on a “broad range of bilateral topics.”
Discussions will also include how they can cooperate to maintain a “free and open Indo-Pacific,” he said. “I’m sure my meetings will also include discussions on how free nations can work together to thwart threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party,” Pompeo said.