Tillerson raps China as 'predatory' rule breaker

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"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.

The Secretary of State's remarks assume significance as they come ahead of the U.S. President Donald Trump's proposed Asia visit next month. While President Donald Trump has looked to deepen cooperation with China on addressing the nuclear threat from North Korea, he's also sought a closer relationship with India, which shares US worries on Islamic extremism. Qatari foreign minister said on July 31 that the crisis should be solved through diplomacy without touching Qatar's sovereignty and made it clear that Qatar will not accept any demands that are not in line with global law.Tillerson departed on Friday for travel to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Pakistan and India before returning home through Switzerland on October 27, the department said in a statement.

China's President Xi Jinping, who is expected to consolidate his hold on power at the meeting, used the occasion to declare that China should "take center stage in the world", and that its brand of socialism offers "a new choice for other countries".

"He (Tillerson) brought out its various strengths and highlighted our shared commitment to a rule-based worldwide order, " Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of the MEA, said.

The United States is pushing for a four-nation mechanism with India, Japan and Australia for security cooperation on the Indo-Pacific - a move which is likely to irk China.

Healthy relations between China and the U.S. are good for the people of both nations and are expected by the Asia-Pacific region, he added.

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That pressure is part of a delicate balance that Tillerson must maintain as the US seeks China's help in cutting off North Korea's economy.

Tillerson also took the opportunity to compare China with its giant neighbour and criticised Beijing for its "provocative actions" in the South China Sea.

China, he said, uses funding mechanisms with countries that "result in saddling them with enormous levels of debt". The US has begun "quite conversation" with east Asian countries on alternatives to Chinese infrastructure financing, Tillerson said. The US should collaborate with India to create a region of "peace, stability, and growing prosperity - so that it does not become a region of disorder, conflict, and predatory economics", he said.

India on Friday thanked US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for his positive evaluation of the Indo-US relationship recently in his policy statement.

In the end, the result is "not a structure that supports the future growth of these countries", the top United States diplomat said.

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

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