Despite the differences between the United States and India over the Indian human rights file and its escalating violations, and New Delhi’s acquisition of the Russian S-400 missile defense system, the Biden administration is seeking to join India into a coalition that includes a network of countries to confront China. Wall Street Journal American.
The newspaper adds that this alliance, which includes Australia, Japan, the United States and India, has held a virtual meeting on Friday, March 12, 2021. US and Indian officials said that the four countries are expected to unveil a deal to expand the manufacture of American Corona vaccines in India, some of which will go to Countries in Southeast Asia, trying to counter China’s “vaccine diplomacy” with other developing countries.
Obstacles in the way of America’s help to India
The American newspaper says, it is true that this alliance has been for more than a decade, but Washington has turned to it in recent years with the intensification of the competition between America and China. Last year’s clash between Indian and Chinese forces along their disputed border in the Himalayas was the bloodiest in more than five decades and provided an additional opportunity for Washington to get closer to New Delhi.
But there are many challenges that stand in the way of the Biden administration if it is to keep relations with India on the right track. India is in the process of acquiring the Russian S-400 missile defense system, a step that could lead to US sanctions. The human rights file in India, especially the Indian government’s treatment of religious minorities and its handling of recent protests by farmers, is also subject to scrutiny by American human rights groups and members of Congress.
For now, Biden administration officials are cautious as they attempt to devise a coordinated international strategy against China. They say that as a democratic country with a fast-growing economy, India provides opportunities to work on a host of issues such as climate and energy, and to boost competition with China through cooperation in the areas of technology and defense.
“We are working with a partner like India to address the common challenges we face, and we certainly are aware of the challenges that China poses,” says Dean Thompson, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia.
America is condoning human rights violations in India in order to confront China
For its part, India praised the prospects for cooperation, highlighting areas such as climate change, healthcare and a limited trade agreement. An Indian official said both sides have concerns about China’s aggressive behavior, so the Biden administration should choose whether human rights and other issues have a priority for it or the competition with China.
India’s purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system is the first test of relations between the United States and India. A senior US administration official declined to say whether the Biden administration would make concessions if India went ahead with that deal.
It is worth noting that the Indian government has already made the first batch of $ 800 million to Moscow, and India is expected to receive the first batch of defense system equipment later this year under the $ 5.5 billion deal. Indian government officials say New Delhi will go ahead with purchasing the Russian defense system, because it is necessary to defend the countries that have tensions with Pakistan and China.
On the other hand, Freedom House, funded by the US government, downgraded India to “Partly Free” for the first time since 1997 in its annual ranking of democracies. The organization’s report cited India’s treatment of Muslims and other minorities, the targeting of journalists and the repeated use of internet shutdowns.
While White House Press Secretary Jennifer Psaki has voiced US concerns about “suppressing freedom of expression,” a senior administration official said concerns about human rights and freedom of expression were raised in high-level talks with India.
The confrontation between India and China recently reached its climax
The year 2020 was a difference in the relationship between India and China, which will not return to its previous era of cold or tense coexistence as it was in the past. India has been subjected to great embarrassment in the border skirmishes that took place between the two countries without a firearm recently, and Chinese forces have shown no sign of retreating from the sites they occupied along the “Line of Effective Control”, which divides India and China’s control areas in the Ladakh region, since last April. .
Meanwhile, Indian forces are gathering at the disputed borders, and New Delhi is demanding a comprehensive restoration of the previous status. Several rounds of military and diplomatic talks failed to reach any results, which confirms the high stakes on both sides.
According to a report For Foreign Policy magazine America, India is now preparing for the situation on the borders to turn into a volatile one. Thus, if a permanent solution to the boundary problem is not found, the greater disturbances along the actual Line of Control will remain the new normal.