- The Joe Biden administration highlighted the strength of U.S.-India ties in its recent meeting with Chinese officials in Alaska, underlining how it has increasingly come to view India as central to its broader objectives in dealing with China in the Indo-Pacific region.
- The reference to India, it is learnt, was not favourably received by China’s officials in Alaska.
- It is being seen as reflecting how U.S.-India relations, only two months into the new administration, are developing robustly.
- The speed with which the new Biden administration has pushed closer ties with India has come in sharp contrast to expectations in some quarters, both in New Delhi and Washington, that relations would not be as smooth as they were with the Trump administration.
- But two months on, any initial wariness that the relationship, which had seen rapid progress particularly on the security side over the past four years, would have to be rebuilt from scratch has dissipated.
- One reason for that is the successful holding of the virtual Quad summit between India, the U.S., Japan and Australia recently, seven days before the U.S.-China Alaska talks.
- Biden administration’s message was it did not want to push any country beyond its comfort level and was willing to keep in mind their respective China concerns.
- Hence the absence of any reference to China in the joint statement and the focus on deliverables such as the vaccines initiative — India’s immediate expression of willingness to go ahead with the summit and the “clarity” with which it put forward its agenda eased many concerns in Washington that New Delhi, amid the on-going disengagement process with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), might waver in its commitment to the grouping.
- If India has made clear it will not be part of any formal alliances, it has also suggested it is more willing to push the bar with China than previously.
- The broader reason for the smooth transition in India-U.S. relations is the new administration’s emphasis on a bipartisan approach to India and other key foreign policy issues, despite the divisiveness at home on the domestic agenda.
- China’s military hit out at the Quad, describing it as a mechanism “promoted by the United States” and said it “adheres to the Cold War mentality, believes in group confrontation, is keen on geopolitical games, and uses the so-called ‘China challenge’ as an excuse to ‘form cliques’ and openly provoke relations between regional countries”.
- Seeking peace, development, and seeking cooperation and win-win is the trend of the times.
- Anything that goes against the trend of the times and satisfies one’s own selfishness is untimely, unpopular and is doomed to failure.
- China has always insisted on being a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of international order.
- China have urged the United States to take up its responsibilities and refrain from making mistakes and do more things that are conducive to regional peace and stability.
SOURCE: THE HINDU, MINT