Jaishankar, Blinken meet in Cambodia, China figures in talks: Report

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the situation in Sri Lanka, developments in Myanmar and other pressing global challenges at a meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

It is understood that the rising tensions between China and Taiwan following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s high-profile visit to Taipei also figured in the talks that took place on the margins of an ASEAN conclave in the Cambodian capital, a PTI report said.

“A warm conversation to start meetings on the sidelines of ASEAN Ministerial in Phnom Penh. Discussed the ever strengthening India-US relationship and the global situation with US Secretary of State @SecBlinken,” Jaishankar tweeted.

In his opening remarks at the meeting, Blinken said the US and India are strong proponents of the ASEAN centrality in the Indo-Pacific, according to the US State Department.

“We’re both strong proponents of ASEAN centrality. We have a shared vision together for a free and open Indo-Pacific that we work on in so many different ways every single day,” he said.

“And of course, we have some immediate challenges that we’re both concerned with, to include the situation in Sri Lanka, Burma, and a number of other hot spots,” he said.

“So I very much look forward to once again being able to go through a number of these issues with my friend, and then we’ll both head over to our meetings,” Blinken added.

India-US to hold military exercise near LAC

New Delhi: Amid rising tensions with China, India and the US will come together for a two-week high altitude military exercise at Auli in Uttarakhand, less than 100 km from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the central region.

The Indo-US joint exercise is known as ‘Yudh Abhyas’ which is in its 15th edition this year.

Sources in the defense and security establishment said a joint exercise is being planned from October 14 to 31, where both the forces will conduct ‘maneuvers to exploit the full scope’ of the high altitude warfare. The sources said that the location (at 10,000 feet) where the exercise will take place falls in Phase 1 of adaptation to high altitude.

“This time it is a very important exercise as the Indian side will be showcasing its high altitude warfare strategies, while the US will demonstrate a number of techniques that can be used in such scenarios. This exercise is planned in such a way that both the sides can come together for any scenario,” said a source.

India and China have seen escalating tensions along the LAC in the last two years following the standoff in Ladakh.

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