'US appreciates India closing missile gap with China'

It also shows "US is comfortable with Indian progress in the nuclear and missile fields", Lisa Curtis, senior research fellow for South Asia, and Baker Spring, research fellow in National Security Policy, at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank said in a commentary.

"India's successful test of the Agni-V, a nuclear-capable long-range missile, is a major step forward for New Delhi in attaining nuclear deterrence against regional rival China," they said calling it as "telling that no country has criticised India's missile test."

Curtis and Spring also noted that the US State Department simply called on all nuclear-capable states to exercise restraint and underlined India's solid record on non-proliferation and its cooperation with the international community on nuclear issues.

"This is a far cry from Washington's position on Indian ballistic missile development throughout the 1990s, when Washington pressured New Delhi to modify its nuclear and missile posture," they said suggesting "the new US stance also demonstrates a welcome evolution in US non-proliferation policy."

"The US change in position with regard to Indian missile capabilities demonstrates how far the US-India relationship has evolved over the last decade," Curtis and Spring said.

"Now the US views India as a strategic partner with growing economic and political clout that will contribute to promoting security and stability in Asia."

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