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India and the US talk China

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Republic of India during Modi’s Official State Visit to Washington DC.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Republic of India during Modi’s Official State Visit to Washington DC.

POOL via CNP/startraksphoto.com
Between the wars in Gaza and in Ukraine, the United States has its hands full, but it’s not taking its eyes off of China. On Friday US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are holding talks with Indian officials regarding security concerns in the Indo-Pacific region. The talks come as the world prepares for the highly anticipated meeting between US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping next week.

In 2018, the two countries launched the “2+2 Dialogue” to boost defense cooperation and align policy objectives in the Indo-Pacific. India is still reeling from a skirmish in June 2020 — along the 2167-mile unmarked and disputed Himalayan border it shares with China — during which India’s military performed poorly and 20 of its soldiers died. Relations between the two nuclear-armed countries have since soured, giving the US and India a common cause in deterring Chinese aggression.

China has taken the US and India from distant allies to close partners — with the two conducting joint military exercises, working to strengthen the Indo-Pacific Quad alliance, and hosting each other for glitzy state visits. The US has even shown a willingness to overlook India’s human rights transgressions and prioritized deepening ties over Canada’s calls for the US to respond to India allegedly killing a Sikh community leader on Canadian soil.

The meetings are expected to solidify ongoing deals for the US and American companies to produce engines for Indian fighter jets and supply MQ-9 predator drones. , and build semiconductor manufacturing.

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