India and US defence deal during Modi visit

India and US defence deal during Modi visit
India and US defence deal during Modi visit
India and US defence deal during Modi visit

India and US defence deal during Modi visit

During the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the United States, significant defense and technology deals were announced, indicating Washington’s intent to strengthen ties with India in order to counter China’s influence.

President Joe Biden welcomed Modi to the White House, where they held talks and subsequently announced several agreements, including the purchase of American spy drones.

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The partnership between the US and India was emphasized by President Biden, who described it as stronger, closer, and more dynamic than ever before.

Modi spoke of a “new chapter” in the strategic relationship between the two countries. The Indian Prime Minister also had the opportunity to address Congress and attended a state banquet at the White House.

In front of hundreds of Indian Americans, Modi expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome and stated that the people of India wished for the flags of both nations to fly even higher.

The visit marked a significant occasion as Modi became only the third world leader to make a state visit to the US since Biden’s inauguration.

His speech to Congress also made him one of the few leaders to address the House and Senate multiple times.

Prior to the visit, it was announced that India would purchase armed MQ-9B SeaGuardian drones from US defense contractor General Atomics.

Additionally, memory chipmaker Micron revealed plans to invest $2.75 billion in a semiconductor assembly and test facility in India, with $800 million coming from the US company.

Furthermore, Biden and Modi signed an agreement for General Electric to co-produce fighter jet engines in India, which was hailed as a pioneering initiative.

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These agreements, along with efforts to enhance cooperation in space, signify the US government’s strategy to draw India closer as a key ally and partner to counterbalance China’s influence.

Biden has been actively working to strengthen defense and security cooperation with India since taking office, including revitalizing the “Quad” security group, which includes India, Japan, and Australia.

Although India maintains a non-aligned foreign policy, tensions with China have brought India and the US closer together.

The unresolved border dispute between India and China, which resulted in violent clashes in the Galwan Valley in 2020, has made India more willing to cooperate with the US, according to American officials.

The security deals announced during the visit aim to enhance interoperability between the two countries’ militaries.

When questioned about India’s potential role in a conflict over Taiwan, US officials refrained from providing specifics but emphasized that the countries are collaborating closely on maritime and other contingencies.

The official further noted that the cooperation would extend not only to the Indian Ocean but also to the Pacific Ocean.

President Biden faced criticism for granting Modi a state visit, with critics highlighting concerns about the state of Indian democracy, including restrictions on free expression and violence against religious minorities.

However, the US official emphasized that Biden would approach discussions on human rights with humility and would not engage in lecturing or scolding.

Following their meeting, Biden expressed satisfaction with the discussion on shared democratic values between the two countries.