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India tells France, have the political will, ability to counter misadventure by China

Google Oneindia News

New Delhi, Dec 18: India told France that it has the political will and capacity to counter any misadventure by China on its land borders. On Friday, French Defence Minister, Florence Parly had said Beijing was getting more aggressive in the entire Indo-Pacific region, especially in the South China Sea.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and French Minister for Armed Forces Florence Parly at the 3rd Annual Defence Dialogue between India and France, in New Delhi

During the annual defence dialogue with France, Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh conveyed India's firm stance backed by appropriate deterrence on the ground against China's attempt to alter the status quo in eastern Ladakh.

Singh also spoke about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor passing through Pakistan occupied Kashmir. He also spoke about the threat of terrorism in the region and also the situation evolving following the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban.

"The India-France strategic partnership is more relevant today than ever before. A wide range of bilateral, regional and defence-industrial cooperation issues were discussed in the ADD," Singh said.

"China is also a partner for trade and commerce. But we see as well that China is getting more and more aggressive in the region, and it is even more specific when it comes to the China Sea," Parly said.

Parly also met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval. She said that India and France shared the view that the Indo-Pacific should remain an open, free and inclusive region with the freedom of navigation and trade for all without any coercion.

Parly said that France seeks to find a delicate balance between addressing such behaviour and cooperating with China nonissues such as climate change and trade. She also noted that China's behaviour in the region has become more and more aggressive.

"I am very happy that the Indian Air Force is satisfied with its Rafales and we are very proud that despite Covid-19, the 36 aircraft will be delivered on time according to the contract. It's a real achievement," she said.

She also described the use of the Rafale jets by the air forces of both countries as a real asset and strength for bilateral cooperation. I am sure there is room for new developments. We are ready to answer any additional needs or request that could be made by India, she also said.

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