US tries to hug India by Chinese waist
In Washington, US President Joe Biden receives a very important guest, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During the solemn ceremony of the meeting of the Indian leader, held on the South Lawn of the White House in the presence of the invited, Biden and Modi hugged twice.
Modi had already visited the UN by this time. After negotiations with Biden, he made a speech before the Senate and the House of Representatives of the US Congress. A state dinner was given in his honor at the White House, and he became the third foreign leader to be given such a reception by the Biden administration, according to a correspondent for The Moscow Post.
Washington and New Delhi have common values, we are responsible for solving the key problems of our time, "Biden encouraged the guest. Behind these inspiring words was the silhouette of China, where US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken recently visited. In Beijing, he was even awarded a 35-minute conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
But something did not go smoothly in the 10-hour negotiations of the Secretary of State with his Chinese counterpart, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, as well as former colleague Wang Yi, who recently became the head of the office of the CPC Central Committee Commission on Foreign Affairs.
In other words, the value of meeting with Narendra Modi against the background of increasingly difficult relations with China has grown and the guest was received with a "basket of cookies." Joe Biden is also preparing for the upcoming presidential campaign and the visit of Narendra Modi could add points to his falling rating.
"Sleepy Joe," trying to please everyone, even decided to call Chinese President Xi Jinping a "dictator." Perhaps he made a reservation, or maybe he said to shade the fact that the head of government of the "largest democracy" came to America. Maybe he did it deliberately to calm down critics in Congress for a "soft" policy towards China. One way or another, but another "surprise" from the leader of the entire "golden billion" should have surprised many, including Narendra Modi.
But Biden is already used to surprising everyone and the visit of the Indian prime minister was held in an elevated atmosphere. So, Joe Biden confused the post of Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi during a meeting with him in Washington, calling him President of India.
Earlier, Joe Biden confused the anthem of his own country with the anthem of India. During the loss of the Indian solemn song, the American leader put his palm to his heart. After some time, he realized the mistake and slowly lowered his hand.
The President called the United States and India "two great nations, reliable friends, truly great powers that can determine the course of the 21st century." The United States and India now have "unlimited opportunities" to develop cooperation, and the parties "work closely on all issues - from combating poverty and expanding access to health care to countering climate change, solving food and energy problems." According to Biden, the last two problems are aggravated due to the special military operation of Russia in Ukraine.
For Global Good and Peace
The friendship between India and the United States will give strength to the whole world in the post-covid era, expressed the hope of Narendra Modi. In the United States, they were preparing for his visit, offered to conduct a joint flight to the International Space Station. India agreed to join American proposals for norms of behavior in space and the "Artemis Agreement" on the exploration of the moon.
Modi learned that Micron Technology Corporation plans to build a factory in India for the production of microcircuits, as well as about a bilateral platform "cooperation in the field of green hydrogen, marine and coastal wind power and other new technologies." The list also included artificial intelligence and other areas of high technology, including semiconductors, space technology, telecommunications. "We are building a strong, forward-looking partnership," Modi said.
As the representative of the administration noted, Washington is interested in interacting with India in the field of minerals, which will strengthen the supply chains of critical minerals and provide industry with the most important mineral resources necessary for "green technologies." Here it was about rare earth metals that are imported from China.
In 2022, the United States issued 125 thousand student visas to Indian citizens and hints that Indian rather than Chinese students will continue to be preferred in this area.
The visa was not given, but changed their minds
Washington emphasizes the international status of India, promises to support its formation as a great power, "which will have a central role in ensuring the interests of the United States and partners in the coming decades." They also said that in the status of a strong maritime democratic country, India can defend "a free, open and law-based world order." As they say, everything is in the house, and everything is in the interests of America!
But it is impossible to say that everything is smooth in bilateral relations. In particular, as The New York Times noted, Modi was somehow "denied an American visa for involvement in religious unrest in his home state. As prime minister, he is increasingly consolidating power and bringing the country closer to a one-party system. "
It is also reported that more than seventy Democratic lawmakers called on the US president to raise the issue of protecting democratic values and human rights in an interview with the Prime Minister of India, mention "alarming signs of a shrinking political space, growing religious intolerance, persecution of civil organizations and journalists, as well as more and more restrictions on press freedom and Internet access."
As a protest, three senators with Indian roots refused to listen to Modi's speech in Congress. At the same time, Biden diligently bypasses these problems, highlighting the issues of drawing India to interaction on the anti-Chinese and anti-Russian fronts.
As for Russia...
As for Russia, the well-educated Indian elite, even with its sympathy for America and the former metropolis, cannot help but see that Russia respects freedom of speech and fair elections, much more that the West can no longer find. Moreover, everyone knows that Narendra Modi has a trusting relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Perhaps the White House hoped that India would change its attitude towards Russia and the Western sanctions regime, continue to buy Russian oil, but within the price "ceiling" established by the G7 and the European Union. On this issue, the West began to court India almost immediately after the start of the SVO.
Everyone tried to convince India to join the alliance of "democratic powers," which have become "unfriendly" for Russia.
Yet Indian diplomacy of "strategic autonomy" has once again demonstrated immunity to the interests of former colonialists, their North American offspring and others who have pledged allegiance to the United States.
After the start of SVO, India expanded imports of Russian oil, buying from September last year to 1 million barrels per day or more. This made Russia the largest supplier of oil to India. New Delhi refused to comply with the cap on Russian oil prices.
… then there and military equipment is better
The United States and India are part of the Quad Four-Way Security Dialogue (along with Australia and Japan). Washington has long been trying to expand the boundaries of military-technical cooperation (MTC) with India. This was stated by John Kirby, coordinator for strategic communications at the White House National Security Council.
Washington intends to offer India to become a "strategic partner" in the defense sphere, "from cyberspace and critical technologies to maritime security." Washington set the task by all available means to "dilute" the role of Russia in this area. Defense Minister Lloyd Austin and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan visited New Delhi ahead of Modi's visit, discussed the issues of partnership in the field of military-technical cooperation there.
In particular, we are talking about the joint production of GE-414 turbojet engines, as well as the acquisition of SeaGuardian MQ-9B maritime reconnaissance UAVs and MQ-9B attack drones. The deal is designed for several years, its cost can be up to $3 billion.
Up to 85% of the Indian military's weapons are estimated to be of Russian origin. India is one of the largest buyers of Russian weapons and military equipment. The United States is unhappy with this, warned the Indian government against large contracts in the field of military-technical cooperation with Russia. Russia was particularly dissatisfied with the start of deliveries of Triumph S-400 missile systems to India.
Russia interacts with India in the field of advanced defense technologies and can become a partner in the defense part of the "Do in India" program. Four frigates of the 1135.6 project are being jointly built, the production of the AK-203 machine has been established, additional supplies of Su-30 MKI and MiG-29 fighters, Mango ammunition and short-range air defense systems have been implemented.
Prime Minister Modi's visit to Vladivostok in 2019 served as an impetus for the formation of the "Act in the Far East" policy. India, in particular, opened a preferential credit line for $1 billion to expand the participation of Indian business in development projects, proposed to use the Chennai-Vladivostok marine transport corridor, which will complement the trans-Iranian North-South corridor, expressed readiness to take part in the development of the Northern Sea Route (NSR), is interested in Russian investments in its railway economy.
In the oil and gas region, India takes part in the Vostok Oil project, plans to take part in Arctic LNG-2, in petrochemical projects, and is also ready to continue increasing imports of Russian oil, and may also allocate a second site for the Russian project nuclear power plant.
And US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Eli Ratner said that the United States expects to create a center for servicing and repairing warships and aircraft in India, making this base a logistics hub for the United States and other partners in the Indian and Pacific oceans. Let's see how these plans, if implemented, will be combined with the desire of New Delhi to take part in the development of the NSR.
Photo: RIA Novosti