Biden and Modi cement ties over defence and tech at New Delhi assembly

Sep 19, 2023 | blog

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US president Joe Biden and Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, moved to cement ties in defence and expertise throughout a gathering in New Delhi that underscored the burgeoning strategic co-operation between the 2 nations.

Gathering on the eve of the G20 summit within the Indian capital, Biden and Modi touted a “close and enduring partnership” that has turn out to be an rising drive in world diplomacy, with each nations harbouring suspicions about Chinese energy and affect.

There was little new substance in a prolonged joint assertion issued after the assembly, which was held at Modi’s residence. The two leaders largely restated and constructed on pledges to one another that had been remodeled the previous few months, together with when Biden hosted the Indian prime minister on the White House in June.

But the constructive tone was essential, US officers stated. Kurt Campbell, the White House coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs, stated there was now an “undeniable warmth and confidence” between Modi and Biden that marked a sea change for US-India relations.

On the US aspect, Campbell stated he believed the bilateral relationship with India can be crucial of the twenty first century for Washington, whereas there was a “dawning Indian awareness of the importance of its role” on the planet.

Campbell additionally stated it had not gone unnoticed in New Delhi that Chinese president Xi Jinping and Russian president Vladimir Putin weren’t attending the G20 summit, which has been vastly essential to Modi. “I think it is a disappointment for India that Russia and China aren’t here,” Campbell stated.

In the joint assertion, India and the US welcomed the approval by the US Congress of negotiations for a business settlement between GE Aerospace and India’s state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to fabricate GE F-414 jet engines in India. 

The two nations additionally introduced the conclusion of a second ship restore settlement beneath which India will preserve US navy vessels within the nation.

Biden “welcomed” a request from India’s ministry of defence to acquire 31 General Atomics MQ-9B drones, which the 2 nations stated would “enhance the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities of India’s armed forces across all domains”. 

India — which has an unresolved border dispute with China, with which it fought a battle in 1962 — is leaning closely on the US because it seeks to shut a niche in army preparedness and excessive tech. It has additionally been working extra intently with the US in areas starting from semiconductors and telecommunications to quantum computing and synthetic intelligence.

Meanwhile, the 2 nations stated they’d enhance their co-operation within the nuclear power sector. They additionally resolved their final commerce dispute on the WTO over poultry, together with steps by India to chop tariffs on US frozen duck and turkey, in addition to dried blueberries and cranberries.

On the diplomatic entrance, Biden praised India’s management of the G20, supported India’s bid for a everlasting seat on the UN Security Council, and agreed to return to New Delhi in 2024 for a gathering of the leaders of the Quad, a strategic pact that additionally contains Japan and Australia. 

As Biden has pressed forward with nearer ties with Modi, he has been criticised for overlooking a troubling backslide in Indian democracy, together with a crackdown on free expression and the incitement of violence in opposition to minority Muslims and Christians. Campbell stated Biden had instructed Modi that the well being of democracy was “an important issue in our bilateral relationship”.

“I think the key here is for us to maintain a respectful dialogue, and to approach some of the challenges with the degree of humility given some of the challenges that we face, in our own country as well,” Campbell stated.

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