USA secretary of state to soon visit Pakistan to discuss regional situation

Nathu La

Nathu La

"In Islamabad, the Secretary will meet with senior Pakistani leaders to discuss our continued strong bilateral cooperation, Pakistan's critical role in the success of our South Asia strategy, and the expanding economic ties between our two countries", a statement by the Department said.

Speaking at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington, Tillerson said "the United States seeks constructive relations with China, but we will not shrink from China's challenges to the rules-based order and where China subverts the sovereignty of neighbouring countries and disadvantages the USA and our friends".

Tillerson also took the opportunity to compare China with its giant neighbour and criticised Beijing for its "provocative actions" in the South China Sea. He said the two nations share goals of security, free navigation, free trade and fighting terrorism in the Indo-Pacific, and serve as "the eastern and western beacons" for an worldwide rules-based order which is increasingly under strain.

Tillerson made the remarks at a time he is attempting to lead a concerted diplomatic push to have Beijing apply greater pressure on North Korea, which defiantly continues its pursuit of nuclear weapons and the means to target them at U.S. territory. He visited China earlier this month and is likely to accompany President Donald Trump on an early November trip through Asia, including a stop in Beijing. And it coincides with China's nineteenth party congress - a massive gathering of Communist Party members to choose who will lead the country for the next five years.

Tillerson took a more strident tone on China. He added that, "no one should expect China to swallow anything that undermines its interests". He said the US has begun "quiet conversations" with countries in the region about other forms of financing. "But we will not shrink from China's challenges to the rules-based order, and where China subverts the sovereignty of neighboring countries, and disadvantages the USA and our friends". The official said the USA envisions an Asia-Pacific region anchored by four countries: Australia, India, Japan and the U.S. Tillerson has said China can do more to coerce North Korea into giving up its nuclear-weapons program. The secretary is in regular contact with Chinese leadership. But he vowed that that Washington "won't shrink from China's challenges to the rules-based order, or where China subverts the sovereignty of neighboring countries". "India is a partner for peace in Afghanistan, and we welcome its assistance efforts", he said.

Seven policemen killed in Pakistan blast
Security forces have cordoned off the area while BDS personnel are collecting evidence to ascertain exact nature of the blast. POLICEMAN GUNNED DOWN: In a separate incident, Police Inspector Abdul Salam was gunned down on Quetta's Qambrani Road.

"We're ready to play any role we can to bring them together, but at this point, it really is now up to the leadership of those countries".

He explained why the United States and India are "two bookends of stability on either side of the globe", or, simply put, natural partners. "It's time to expand transparent, high standard regional lending mechanisms - tools that will actually help nations instead of saddling them with mounting debt", he added. They discussed the "importance of a free and open Indo-Pacific region underpinned by a resilient, rules-based architecture that enables every nation to prosper". "As we look ahead, there is room to invite others, including Australia, to build on the shared objectives and initiatives", he said.

Australia covers the South Pacific, while the USA defines the region at its eastern edge.

"The challenges and the dangers we face are substantial", Tillerson said.

He added that the USA seeks constructive relations with China but "won't shrink" from the challenges it poses when it "subverts the sovereignty of neighboring countries, and disadvantages the US and our friends".

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