United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday said India needed America as its ally, warning New Delhi of China’s growing threat in the Indo-Pacific region, reported AFP.

“The Chinese have now begun to amass huge forces against India in the north,” Pompeo said in an interview with radio host Larry O’Connor. “The world has awakened. The tide’s begun to turn. And the United States under President [Donald] Trump’s leadership has now built out a coalition that will push back against the threat.” He added that India needed to “partner in this fight”.

Pompeo was referring to the alliance of India, US, Japan and Australia, known as Quad or Quadrilateral coalition. The Quad members had met earlier in the week in Tokyo where the US secretary of state said that Beijing’s actions in the Indo-Pacific region make it critical for the four countries to cooperate to protect their partners and their people from Chinese “exploitation, corruption and coercion”. He had also accused China of covering up the coronavirus pandemic and worsening it, while also threatening democracy and diversity in the region with its assertive actions.

In another interview, Pompeo made similar claims. “The Indians are seeing 60,000 Chinese soldiers on their northern border,” he told The Guy Benson Show in an interview on Friday.

In the interview with O’Connor, Pompeo said that the alliance partners have started to develop a set of understandings and policies that can be used to present a resistance to the threats that the Chinese Communist Party poses to each of the Quad countries, according to PTI. He added that the citizens of the four countries can see that China is a threat.

“They’ve all seen it, whether it’s the Indians, who are actually having a physical confrontation with the Chinese up in the Himalayas in the northeastern part of India, the Chinese have now begun to amass huge forces against India in the north whether it’s the Australians who did the simple thing of saying the Chinese screwed this deal up with the virus, and we’d like to understand what happened and said we ought to have a full investigation, and in exchange for that, the Chinese Communist Party began to extort, coerce, bully the Australians.” 

— United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

In another interview with Fox News, Pompeo spoke of Donald Trump administration’s move to built the coalition to push back China. “We aim to protect the American people from the threat that the Chinese Communist Party poses,” he said.

He claimed that China had become accustomed to America “bend a knee, watching us turn the other cheek and appease them.” The secretary of state added that this reaction from the US has only encourage their “bad behaviour”.

“They’ve [China] watched that we’re going to confront them and impose costs upon them,” Pompeo told Fox News. “I am confident that this activity, over time, will change the nature of what the Chinese Communist Party tries to do to harm America.”

All four members of the Quad are in conflict with Beijing. China and the US are at loggerheads over various matters, including the coronavirus pandemic, Hong Kong, Taiwan, trade, and human rights. India is in a row with China after 20 Indians and an unknown number of Chinese soldiers were killed in violent clashes in Galwan Valley in June.

Tokyo too has expressed concerns over China’s claim to the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. Japan’s annual defence policy paper published in July alleged that China unilaterally changed the status quo in the South China Sea, where it has militarised manmade islands and was slowly trying to virtually claim all of the sea’s important fisheries and waterways. Relations between China and Australia have also deteriorated too.

China has, however, repeatedly denied all allegations levelled against it. On the coronavirus pandemic, the country said that it acted quickly to give information about the infection to the World Health Organization and all other countries. It has also alleged that the US is the biggest aggressor in the South China Sea. China also refuted claims of human rights violations against minority Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang district and in its handling of Hong Kong. Beijing, meanwhile, has accused Western nations of meddling in its internal affairs.