Tillerson raps China as 'predatory' rule breaker

Tillerson raps China as 'predatory' rule breaker

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said before a visit to India next week that the Trump administration wanted to "dramatically deepen" cooperation with New Delhi, seeing it as a key partner in the face of negative Chinese influence in Asia.

That official stressed that Tillerson "did say that we obviously want constructive relations with China".

Speaking to a packed auditorium at the Center for Strategic and International Studies research center in Washington, D.C., Tillerson looked forward to the next 100 years of close U.S. -India ties. While President Donald Trump has looked to deepen cooperation with China on addressing the nuclear threat from North Korea, he's also sought a closer relationship with India, which shares USA worries on Islamic extremism. No official confirmation was available as to whether Secretary Tillerson will also be visiting Pakistan or not, following his announcement to visit India next week.

A senior State Department official defended the timing of the speech, saying Tillerson also said he wanted a constructive relationship with China.

In the end, the result is "not a structure that supports the future growth of these countries", the top U.S. diplomat said.

Tillerson said the US wants to help improve India's military capabilities, and also improve security cooperation among the region's major democracies, which included Japan and Australia.

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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang also said that Beijing is "happy" over the development of ties between India and America as long as they are conducive to regional peace. He called for India's archrival Pakistan "to take decisive action against terrorist groups based within their own borders that threaten its own people and the broader region". "But those two countries have risen very differently".

Tillerson will meet with senior Indian leaders to discuss "further strengthening our strategic partnership and collaboration on security and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region", it said adding that the visit will advance the "ambitious agenda laid out by President Trump and Prime Minister Modi during the Prime Minister's visit to the White House in June".

In Beijing, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Lu Kang (陸慷) said China hoped the United States could abandon bias when viewing its actions overseas.

"China will never develop itself at the expense of other countries", Lu told a regular briefing on Thursday. The US has begun "quite conversation" with east Asian countries on alternatives to Chinese infrastructure financing, Tillerson said.

China, he said, uses funding mechanisms with countries that "result in saddling them with enormous levels of debt".

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