Are there any issues ahead for the United States and India? – The diplomat
President Joe Biden, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and White House staff, participates in the Virtual Quad Summit with Australia, India and Japan on Friday March 12, 2021, in the White House State Dining Room.
As US Vice President Kamala Harris confirmed in her recent call with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as the coronavirus pandemic has receded in the United States, Washington can afford to send more vaccines and other aid overseas and India tops the list the United States. This is both a humane step and smart policy: Indians have suffered tremendously throughout the pandemic, with a particularly deadly wave this spring resulting in official death ring above 300,000; the unofficial toll is much higher. India is also an important partner for the United States and is one of the few countries that can effectively counterbalance China and prevent Beijing from dominating Asia.
American and Indian strategists have long recognized this confluence of interests and have strived to strengthen bilateral relations, but it has been a difficult process and is likely to remain so. Despite frequent references to the natural alliance between the world’s oldest democracy and the world’s largest, the ties between New Delhi and Washington will probably never rival the proximity of the special Anglo-American relationship. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who lived in France during his childhood, may find Modi as important but difficult to work with as his predecessors found Charles de Gaulle. President Joe Biden can make significant progress with India, but in order to do that, he will need to put aside some of his other top priorities regarding Russia, trade, the environment, and maybe even human rights. man. If he doesn’t, by the end of the year there will be a major dusting off in Indo-American relations.
One of the biggest hurdles Biden and Modi will have to overcome is in the military realm. Civil nuclear in 2005 agreement was a diplomatic breakthrough that lifted US sanctions related to India’s nuclear program and made a strategic partnership possible. Since then, the United States has designated India, a major defense partner, has stepped up sales of military equipment and negotiated agreements with India to facilitate coordination of military logistics and communications. India and the United States form half of the Quad, which becomes a vital network for the management of Indo-Pacific affairs.
Despite these promising developments, storm clouds are looming on the horizon. Although India was a founding member of the non-aligned movement, it maintained close ties with the Soviet Union during the Cold War and still has close ties with Russia today. In October 2019, India accepted purchase Russian anti-aircraft missile system S-400 and is expected to receive the first round of deliveries towards the end of this year. The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) requires the United States to sanction India for the deal, as NATO member Turkey discovered late last year when it been sanctioned. The Trump administration Told India that he was unlikely to obtain a waiver of the law.
Will the Biden administration show more flexibility? Russian propaganda activities in the 2016 election made tough Russian politics a high priority for Democrats, and Biden has already made significant concessions to Moscow by lifting sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in Europe and extending the New START arms control agreement. In addition, the delivery of the S-400 will add significant complications to Indo-American military cooperation and likely prevent India from acquiring high-end American planes such as the F-35. However, those difficulties are likely to be worse if the United States imposes sanctions, so Biden may have to waive the sanctions and accept a strict limit on joint operations as the cost of the Indian decision.
Longer term, boosting the Indian economy is very important to the United States. The OECD recently projected India’s GDP will be nearly 9% lower in 2025 than predicted before the pandemic, and Bangladesh recently overwhelmed in GDP per capita. A richer India is a stronger India, and more growth would make it more resistant to China.
A bigger Indian economy would also offer Western businesses and investors an alternative to China, but only if Biden and Modi come to an agreement on trade restrictions. Modi’s call for autonomy “Atmanirbhar Bharat” does not bode well for a trade deal, nor does India’s last minute decision to remove of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade pact, which left Japan alone as China’s sole checks and balances in the deal. India is also edit investment rules that will hurt U.S. businesses even more than an earlier rule change in 2018 did. Earlier this month, the United States ad tariffs on India and other countries for their new taxes on American technology companies, but also a 180-day period to allow a negotiated settlement.
The most dramatic confrontation can come before this deadline has passed. The 26th United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP26) will be held in the first half of November, and there could be fireworks in Glasgow between the United States and India. India is already the third greenhouse gas transmitter and its demand for energy will grow faster than any other country over the next two decades. He thus ruled out a zero emission target, which the Minister of Energy has called “pie in the sky.” At the top of Biden’s Earth Day, him and Modi ad a new partnership for green energy, but Modi has not changed any of the Strategies which are expected to result in a 50% increase in emissions by 2040. If Modi holds up in November, what will Biden do?
Controversies over military, economic and climate policies are already set on a fixed timeline, but tensions over democracy and human rights could erupt at any time. During the election campaign, Biden Express deep concerns over the Indian government’s treatment of its Muslim minority, especially Kashmir, as has been done by important progressive Democrats like Senator Bernie Sanders. However, Muslims are not the only religious minority that could cause friction between American human rights champions and the Hindu nationalist government: India has also repressed on Christian organizations, such as the Compassion International aid and development group. If they step up this activity, it could start to disrupt Christian leaders in the United States, especially evangelicals who wield considerable influence within the Republican Party. If New Delhi is not careful, it could shatter the relationship’s strong bipartisan support (the Indian Senate Caucus has 31 members) and instead create bipartisan opposition to closer ties.
Although much of India’s elite speak English and the country shares a history of British colonization with the United States, Washington has substantial disagreements with New Delhi that will be difficult to deal with. Still, the Biden administration needs to get it right: India has the potential to be a significant contributor to Asian security and prosperity, and this relationship is too valuable to be lost.