Indo-US ties not aimed at containing China: White House

The US on Monday dismissed China's concerns over growing Indo-US ties, arguing that the relationship is not aimed at "containing" or "holding China down".

PTI| Last Updated: Jan 26, 2015, 21:08 PM IST

New Delhi: The US on Monday dismissed China's concerns over growing Indo-US ties, arguing that the relationship is not aimed at "containing" or "holding China down".

"It is notable that they (China) should feel like they have to go out of their way to comment on this visit," the National Deputy Security Advisor, Ben Rhodes, told reporters when asked about the comments made by the Chinese state media that this trip is "superficial".

China's state-run news agency Xinhua had yesterday described President Barack Obama's unprecedented second visit to India as a "superficial rapprochement" given their hard differences on issues like climate change and nuclear energy cooperation.

"What I'd say in response is I think the way in which the US and India approach the issue in the Asia Pacific is very similar in the sense that nobody is aiming for confrontation with China or even to contain China.

"Both the US and India have very close relations with China in many different fields," Rhodes said at a news conference on the second day of Obama's India visit to attend the Republic Day celebrations.

However, Rhodes confirmed that China was discussed between Obama and the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their bilateral talks yesterday.

"With respect to China, I think that signal - it's not a hostile approach, but it's rather one in which we have two very big countries that are committed to upholding a rules-based way of doing business here in Asia, and I think that can be a stabilising force going forward," the top presidential aide said.

"United States and India are committed to a rules-based order in this part of the world.

"What we have always said in terms of how the US approaches this issue is that we just want to make sure that all countries are following the rules of the road so that if there are maritime disputes, those are resolved peacefully, in line with international law," Rhodes said.

This was reaffirmed in the joint statement from the US and India that the two nations want to see not an escalation in the maritime space, but rather ways of resolving disputes consistent with the law of the sea and other international conventions, he said.

"With respect to trade and cyber issues, the US has made very clear that we want China to play by the same rules as everybody else. So these are not policies that are directed at China or aimed at holding China down, it's about what type of order all nations can thrive under in this part of the world," Rhodes said.