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US and India: ‘Great Friends’ against China – and Russia?

US and India: ‘Great Friends’ against China – and Russia?

“Two great countries, two great friends and two great powers,” said the US president Joe Biden Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi at the joint dinner party. “You are a soft-spoken man, but when it comes to action you are very tough,” Modi said.

With Modi’s state visit to the US, Washington and New Delhi ushered in a new era in their relations. Not only did Biden and Modi agree Thursday to work together to counter China’s growing influence.

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They immediately entered into several military partnerships. For example, it would allow US warships to contact Indian shipyards for repairs in the future. In return, India could purchase SeaGuardian drones in the United States.

On the economic side, agreements have been concluded on the production of chips, raw materials and space travel. This aims to diversify supply chains in order to reduce dependence on China. Specifically, US chip maker Micron Technology’s plans to build a $2.7 billion chip factory in Modi’s state of Gujarat have been discussed.

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Both countries also settled their differences before the World Trade Organization. India will raise some tariffs on US imports.

Avoid conflicts

For all of these conventions, the United States has made the state visit very expensive. Biden and Modi spoke privately for more than two hours. Conflicts have been largely ruled out. Modi allowed Biden to attend a news conference – something the Indian leader has so far avoided during his nine-year tenure – and dismissed criticism of India’s human rights record.

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India’s close relations with Russia were also not mentioned. However, both Biden and Modi urged Ukraine’s “territorial integrity” in a joint statement. Modi said that India wants to work for peace in Ukraine.