Tillerson raps China as 'predatory' rule breaker

19 October, 2017, 01:04 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • China bullet train

USA secretary of state Rex Tillerson on Wednesday said it is the obligation, not choice, of every civilized nation to combat the scourge of terrorism, and the U.S. along with India are leading that regional effort.

"We expect Pakistan to take decisive action against terrorist groups based in their own region", Tillerson said, adding, "China's provocative actions in South China Sea directly challenge the worldwide law and norms that the USA and India both stand for".

Tillerson made the remarks at a time he is attempting to lead a concerted diplomatic push to have Beijing apply greater pressure on North Korea, which defiantly continues its pursuit of nuclear weapons and the means to target them at USA territory. He said Pakistan is also an important partner and is expected to "take decisive action" against terror groups.

India's been talking about those concerns for a while, Ayers said, and "Tillerson's picking up on it as a core issue".

The Secretary of State said that there were over 600 American companies operating and USA investment in India has jumped by 500 per cent in the last two years. "As you know, this year marks the 70th anniversary of relations between our two countries", he said.

Tillerson also issued a blunt warning to China's client state Pakistan, saying "states that use terror as an instrument of policy will only see their worldwide reputation and standing diminish" and "it is the obligation, not choice, of every civilized nation to combat the scourge of terrorism" and the United States and India are leading that regional effort together. In July, the US sanctioned Hizbul Mujahideen, a Pakistan-based rebel group that fights against Indian control in the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir.

"We are really going to need India's help in Afghanistan".

Last week, Pakistan, acting on US intelligence, secured the release of a U.S.


He said the US and India were leading regional efforts on counterterrorism.

Just as Tillerson was speaking at the CSIS, Vice President Mike Pence engaged in a call with Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and conveyed a qualified message of thanks to Islamabad.

In his speech and during the Q and A session that followed, Tillerson discussed the security threats in the Indo-Pacific region and praised the trilateral arrangement between Tokyo, Washington and New Delhi. "The strength of the Indo- Pacific has always been the interaction among many peoples, governments, economies, and cultures", he said.

India and the United States formed the "book-ends of stability" at two ends of the world, the Secretary said and, "The security concerns of India are of concern to the United States".

While President Donald Trump has looked to deepen cooperation with China on addressing the nuclear threat from North Korea, he's sought a much closer relationship with India, which also shares USA worries on Islamic extremism.

In a period of uncertainty in the world, "India needs a reliable partner on the world stage, and the United States is that partner", Tillerson said, adding, "It is time to double-down on the democratic partner", who he said, "is rising steadily and will rise for the next 100 years".

A senior State Department official told reporters that the speech was meant to map out a strategy for U.S. -India relations for the next century, in which the region's leading democracies - also including Japan and Australia - blunt China's growing influence and challenges to the rules-based order.

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