United States Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday has said that India will be a crucial partner for America in the future, playing a key role in countering China.
This remark comes as the idea that the border clashes between India and China in the Himalayas pose a two-front problem for Beijing has been gaining traction among US strategists, the Japanese newspaper Nikkei Asia reported.
During an in-person seminar in Washington, America’s highest-ranking Navy officer on Thursday that he has spent more time on a trip to India than with any other country as he considers New Delhi to be a strategic partner for the US in the future.
Referring to his five-day visit to India last year, Admiral Gilday said, “The Indian Ocean battlespace is becoming increasingly more important for us. The fact that India and China currently have a bit of a skirmish along their border … it’s strategically important.”
“They now force China to not only look east, toward the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, but they now have to be looking over their shoulder at India,” Admiral Gilday said during the event hosted by the Heritage Foundation.
Back in June, when the leaders of the Quad were meeting in Japan, former Pentagon official Elbridge Colby told Nikkei Asia that while India would not directly contribute in a local battle over Taiwan, it could draw China’s attention to the Himalayan border.
What the United States and Japan need India to do is to be as strong as possible in South Asia and effectively draw Chinese attention so that they have a major secondfront problem,” said Colby, the principal author of the 2018 National Defence Strategy under former President Donald Trump.
India, in the meantime, draws the same benefit from China’s difficulties in facing a strong US-Japan alliance around Taiwan, he said.