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US Defence Secy to visit India later this month

New Delhi: US Defence Secretary General Lloyd J Austin, who recently released a memorandum prioritising China as “number one challenge”, will be travelling to India later this month.

Sources confirmed that General Austin was scheduled to visit India in the third week, marking the first such visit by a top official of the Biden administration.

On March 4, General Austin released a three-page memorandum for defence staff, which said: “The department will prioritise China as our number one challenge and develop the right operational concepts, capabilities, bolster deterrence and maintain competitive advantage.”

General Austin mentioned about alliances in countering China, saying, “We will ensure that our approach towards China is coordinated to advance our priorities, strengthened by our alliances and partnerships.”

India and US have close ties and have also joined hands on what is called the Quadrilateral or Quad, a four-nation grouping having Australia and Japan as the other partners. General Austin is expected to meet his counterpart Rajnath Singh. The visit will reflect on how the ties between the two countries will shape in next 4 years.