Her visit to India coincides also with the arrival of the Royal Navy’s carrier strike group, which is taking part in a series of exercises with the Indian military off the coast of Mumbai. During the trip Liz Truss will tour the navy’s flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth.
During her two-day trip to Delhi and Mumbai, she will set out agreements to increase investment ties between the two countries and technical support packages for the developing world.
Last month Beijing did not react well to the announcement of a new defence pact between the UK, the US and Australia.
The pact was seen as a way to oppose China’s growing military assertiveness.
In addition, tensions between India and China have flared after 20 Indian soldiers were killed last year in a disruption at the border with the Chinese military.
Ms Truss said: “Closer defence and security partnerships between the UK and India underpin deeper economic ties and make both countries, as well as the wider region, safer.
“We need to protect our sea and trade routes and, operating from a position of strength, be hard-headed in defending our interests and challenging unfair practices.”
Earlier this year Boris and Narendra Modi agreed the 2030 Roadmap on maritime security, cyber security and counter terrorism.
Before her trip, the Foreign Office said Ms Truss would take forward work on the joint 2020 Roadmap.
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The foreign secretary will also be joined by Chief of Defence Staff Sir Nick Carter, who travelled to India to meet his counterpart General Bipin Rawat in Delhi.
Ben Wallace said the visit of the carrier strike group represented an “important step towards our goal of establishing a maritime partnership with India in support of mutual security objectives in the Indian Ocean.”
This week Liz Truss has also made herself one of the more China sceptics in the cabinet after suggesting Beijing-controlled companies should be excluded from contracts to build Sizewell C, as she believes work on such sensitive projects should be conducted with countries which share a “bond of trust” with the UK.
During an interview with the Telegraph, she said: “I think it’s very important that we don’t become strategically dependent and I think it’s important that we make sure that we’re working, particularly in areas of critical national infrastructure, with reliable partners.”
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Liz Truss has been the foreign secretary since the recent reshuffle in September this year.