Sourced : Asia Times

By M.K. Bhadrakumar

Even as the countdown begins for US President Donald Trump’s highly anticipated state visit to China, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is heading to India next week in a delicate geopolitical balancing act.

A landmark speech Tillerson gave at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on Wednesday, titled ‘Defining Our Relationship with India for the Next Century’, served as preamble to his visit. His remarks gave powerful optics projecting India as a ‘pivotal state’ in the US’ future regional strategies.

The US evidently hopes to pile pressure on Pakistan, which Tillerson will also visit, to cooperate in forging a negotiated settlement with the insurgent Taliban in Afghanistan and remote Pakistan territories. Tillerson’s speech also became a repartee to the triumphalist narrative of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s report at the 19th Communist Party Congress, which began in Beijing just a few hours earlier on October 18.

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