U.S.-Chinese rivalry in Asia
September 5, 2018 -- U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Joseph Dunford will visit Pakistan on Wednesday. Pompeo and U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will travel to New Delhi on Thursday to seal a new defence cooperation agreement.
America’s latest cut of $300 million in military aid to Pakistan has caught Islamabad in an emerging cold war between the U.S. and China – a rivalry which has pushed several Asian nations to align with Beijing.
Hanging over the September 6 two-plus-two dialogue with India’s defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj is the prospect that the Trump administration will impose economic sanctions on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government unless it cancels a planned $6 billion acquisition of S-400 anti-aircraft missiles from Russia and cuts purchases of oil from Iran.
After China, India is the largest buyer of Iranian crude, importing around 700,000 barrels per day.
Also, Washington opposes India’s $500 million investment in Iran’s Chabahar Port. Chabahar makes India a regional infrastructure developer as well as driving trade and aid to Afghanistan. Last October, India sent the first shipment of wheat bound for Afghanistan via Chabahar Port.