China’s rise and its aggressive global ambitions, including the ongoing Line of Actual Control (LAC) standoff in Ladakh, will be among key items on US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s agenda when he meets his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar and NSA A K Doval on Wednesday.
Jaishankar is expected to appraise Blinken about the current situation along the LAC, including the disengagement process, according to persons familiar with the matter. The big picture of China’s global aggression may be among the talking points.
India and China are expected to make progress at the next round of Corp Commander level talks on disengagement at Gogra and Hot Spring flash points. India seeks comprehensive de-escalation of tensions.
Washington views India as helping in US efforts to stand up to China’s increasingly assertive behaviour in Asia and beyond. Blinken’s trip follows a visit by Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman to China and coincides with one to Southeast Asia by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin as the USA seeks to bolster its presence in the Indo-Pacific region.
China, during Sherman’s visit, accused the US of oppressing Beijing and urged Washington to remove sanctions and tariffs. Foreign Minister Wang Yi said it was up to the US to “make the right choice.”