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US to continue supporting India, allies against China

As he began bilateral talks in Australia to counter China’s expansive claims in the Indo-Pacific, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin stressed that Washington stands with the countries opposing Beijing’s “bullying behaviour.”

Austin and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Brisbane, Australia, late on Friday for the talks, which will also focus on a deal to offer Australia a fleet of submarines fueled by US nuclear technology.

During his opening remarks in Australia on Indo-Pacific, Austin said, “We’ve seen troubling PRC coercion from the East China Sea to the South China Sea, to right here in the Southwest Pacific.”

“We’ll continue to support our allies and partners as they defend themselves from bullying behaviour,” the Pentagon chief added.

Due to a number of factors, including commerce, Taiwan’s legal status, China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea, and a continuous US campaign against growing Chinese dominance in the Asia-Pacific region, ties between China and the USA have deteriorated recently.

“Today, our cooperation is key. It’s key to our shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific in a world of rules and rights. We seek a region where all countries are secure and prosperous, where states follow international law and international norms, and where disputes are resolved peacefully without coercion,” Lloyd Austin said.

Anthony Blinken and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, among other senior US officials, recently visited China in an effort to normalise relations and avoid war.

Since the incident involving the Chinese spy balloon, the diplomatic ties between China and the US have deteriorated.