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The US has extended greetings to India on 75 years of its independence and said the two countries will work to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific and address the challenges they face around the world.

"We congratulate the people of India on 75 years of independence," White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters at a press conference here while responding to a question on Tuesday.

She said that India's non-violent freedom struggle was an inspiration to the world, and the US hopes that the next 75 years will see India continue to prosper.

"As the world's oldest democracy and the world's largest democracy, respectively, we will continue to work together every day to deliver opportunities, security, freedom, and dignity to our peoples," she said, noting that this year, the US and India are celebrating 75 years of their diplomatic relationship.

She underlined that the two countries are partners in many important areas, including defence, vaccines, climate, tech, and our ever-growing people-to-people connections.

"The US will continue to work with India to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific and address the challenges both our countries face around the world, she said, amid China flexing muscles in the region.

China is engaged in hotly contested territorial disputes in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea. China claims sovereignty over all of the South China Sea. Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan have counter claims.

Beijing has also built up and militarised many of the islands and reefs it controls in the region. Both areas are stated to be rich in minerals, oil and other natural resources and are also vital to global trade.

The US, Japan, India and Australia had in 2017 given shape to the long-pending proposal of setting up the "Quad" or the Quadrilateral coalition to counter China's aggressive behaviour in the Indo-Pacific region.

The US says Quad is not an alliance but a grouping of countries driven by shared interests and values and interested in strengthening a rules-based order in the strategically-important Indo-Pacific region.

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