Hindustantimes wants to start sending you push notifications. Click allow to subscribe

Mr Blinken pays a visit

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken underlined that on all crucial issues — Covid-19, climate, emerging technologies, Indo-Pacific, maritime security — India was a vital partner
By HT Editorial
UPDATED ON JUL 29, 2021 09:05 PM IST
PREMIUM
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. (REUTERS)

If there was any doubt about the strength and depth of the India-United States (US) relationship, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit should put it to rest. Mr Blinken underlined that on all crucial issues — Covid-19, climate, emerging technologies, Indo-Pacific, maritime security — India was a vital partner. The fact that President Joe Biden has had several conversations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin has already visited India, external affairs minister S Jaishankar has reached out to the US administration in Washington (Wednesday marked his fourth meeting with Mr Blinken in six months), Mr Modi could possibly visit the US soon, and less publicly, there is across the government collaboration with US agencies points to how far the two estranged democracies have come. They talk, all the time, on all issues. And this is excellent news.

Two themes appears to dominate Mr Blinken’s visit. The first is the strategic relationship. It is an open secret that the emergence of Quad is a direct attempt to ensure that China is constrained to play by the rules of the game. But that remains the unstated part. Quad, as both Mr Blinken and Mr Jaishankar emphasised, was looking at a constructive agenda, particularly vaccine supplies. This is smart, for the delivery of global common goods by a set of democracies will send a far more powerful message than rhetorical statements. By meeting Tibetan leaders, Mr Blinken did well in underscoring US support to the Tibetan community as it prepares for a post-Dalai Lama phase. By allowing the meeting to happen tomorrow on its soil, India did well in sending a signal to China. On Afghanistan, India and the US, in principle, have common goals in preventing a forcible Taliban takeover and ensuring a democratic and inclusive regime. But Washington can’t wait to rush out and has limited security stakes; India knows it will have to stand for its beliefs largely on its own.

RELATED STORIES

On democracy, Mr Blinken was careful to hint at the failings of democracy in the US itself, before making it clear how democratic values, institutional independence, and fundamental freedoms were crucial in cementing ties. The unsaid part was that Delhi appeared to backsliding on these metrics. While India put forth its response, the fact that such a conversation is happening itself is proof that the quality of Indian democracy is now a variable in the relationship. But notwithstanding differences, the big story remains one of increasing convergence. This is in India’s national interest.

If there was any doubt about the strength and depth of the India-United States (US) relationship, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit should put it to rest. Mr Blinken underlined that on all crucial issues — Covid-19, climate, emerging technologies, Indo-Pacific, maritime security — India was a vital partner. The fact that President Joe Biden has had several conversations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin has already visited India, external affairs minister S Jaishankar has reached out to the US administration in Washington (Wednesday marked his fourth meeting with Mr Blinken in six months), Mr Modi could possibly visit the US soon, and less publicly, there is across the government collaboration with US agencies points to how far the two estranged democracies have come. They talk, all the time, on all issues. And this is excellent news.

Also Read | India-US bond over Quad, China, America sheds reticence over Dalai Lama

Two themes appears to dominate Mr Blinken’s visit. The first is the strategic relationship. It is an open secret that the emergence of Quad is a direct attempt to ensure that China is constrained to play by the rules of the game. But that remains the unstated part. Quad, as both Mr Blinken and Mr Jaishankar emphasised, was looking at a constructive agenda, particularly vaccine supplies. This is smart, for the delivery of global common goods by a set of democracies will send a far more powerful message than rhetorical statements. By meeting Tibetan leaders, Mr Blinken did well in underscoring US support to the Tibetan community as it prepares for a post-Dalai Lama phase. By allowing the meeting to happen tomorrow on its soil, India did well in sending a signal to China. On Afghanistan, India and the US, in principle, have common goals in preventing a forcible Taliban takeover and ensuring a democratic and inclusive regime. But Washington can’t wait to rush out and has limited security stakes; India knows it will have to stand for its beliefs largely on its own.

RELATED STORIES

On democracy, Mr Blinken was careful to hint at the failings of democracy in the US itself, before making it clear how democratic values, institutional independence, and fundamental freedoms were crucial in cementing ties. The unsaid part was that Delhi appeared to backsliding on these metrics. While India put forth its response, the fact that such a conversation is happening itself is proof that the quality of Indian democracy is now a variable in the relationship. But notwithstanding differences, the big story remains one of increasing convergence. This is in India’s national interest.

Please sign in to continue reading

  • Get access to exclusive articles, newsletters, alerts and recommendations
  • Read, share and save articles of enduring value
Sign In
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Topics
This site uses cookies

This site and its partners use technology such as cookies to personalize content and ads and analyse traffic. By using this site you agree to its privacy policy. You can change your mind and revisit your choices at anytime in future.

OPEN APP