Indian and US Defence Ministers hold discussions

New Delhi: – Against the background of the tension on the Chinese border, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held discussions with the US and South Korean Defence Ministers. The United States and South Korea are known to be major suppliers of defence equipment to India. Since the last few days, India has prioritised defence preparedness on the Chinese border. This makes these discussions more significant.  

India delivered a telling blow to China in the Galwan Valley conflict. Following the shock, India has made its policies more aggressive against China and is stressing on increasing its military deployment along the China border. Therefore, India is in constant touch with its partners in the defence sector. Following the Galwan Valley incident, India had connected with the United States, Russia, Israel and France with an appeal to expedite the defence supplies. All these countries had responded positively to the Indian request.   

The discussion with the US and South Korean Defence Ministers is considered to be a part of the same strategy. This is the second meeting between the Indian Defence Minister and US Secretary for Defence, Mark Esper, since the Galwan Valley incident. The United States has openly supported India in the India-China conflict and has even praised the Indian action. Many senior leaders from the United States, along with Secretary of State, Pompeo, have assured solid support to India in the conflict against China. Concerned sources informed that the same issue was underlined in the discussions held by the Indian Defence Minister with US and South Korean defence ministers. The officials informed that strengthening the India-US defence partnership also was discussed during the telephonic conversation.   

Against the background of these talks, Boeing Company from the United States announced the supply of 37 military helicopters to the Indian defence forces. These include 22 apache attack helicopters and 15 Chinook helicopters. The defence deal for this was signed in 2015. Thereafter, it is being said that India has signed an agreement for six more Apache helicopters in February. Sources in the defence forces said that all these advanced helicopters, supplied by the United States, have been deployed along the Line of Actual Control on the Chinese border.  

Meanwhile, the officials informed that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held discussions over bilateral defence cooperation and other issues with Korean Defence Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo. Last year, India had signed a treaty with South Korea to develop land and naval systems jointly. India expressed a desire to expedite the process because of the rising tension with China. 

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