Home India News India-US relations not aimed at China: Antony

India-US relations not aimed at China: Antony


New Delhi : India Friday dismissed suggestions that its growing relations with the US were aimed at countering China, saying its armed forces were being strengthened primarily to protect and safeguard its territorial integrity.

“No, that is not correct,” said Defence Minister A.K. Antony on the sidelines of an Indian Air Force (IAF) event here when asked if the US wanted to work with India mainly because of the China factor.

“We are strengthening our armed forces by providing most modern and complex equipment to them. It is not against any country but to protect our territorial integrity,” Antony said.

India had made a conscious shift in its military hardware purchasing strategy by not placing all its eggs in the Russian basket, but has in the recent decade tried to spread the pie among other nations too, including the US, France, and Israel.

During this period, India has bought American defence equipment work $10 billion. These include C-17 and C-130J military transport aircraft for the air force and P-8I maritime reconnaissance aircraft for the navy.

It has also bought the USS Trenton warship which has been inducted as INS Jalashwa.

India is also in the process of buying 145 M777 ultralight howitzers from the US and is considering the Javelin anti-tank missiles.

“We want to have a very modern and capable force capable of protecting our territorial integrity and any challenge from any quarters,” Antony noted.

The Western media and think-tanks have, in the recent days, reported that India is wary of Chinese military growth and hence was preparing for a war in the near future. They had also speculated that the US-India relations could be an effective counter to China’s increasing military ambitions.