New Delhi: India has been a “bipartisan success story” for successive US administrations, and the concept of Indo-Pacific strategy was chalked out to work with New Delhi to counter China, incoming US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said Tuesday.
In his testimony to the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Blinken said India has been “very much a bipartisan success story over successive administrations” be it from the Bill Clinton administration to George W. Bush, then Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and that this will continue to make progress under the Joe Biden government.
“It started with … toward the end of the Clinton administration after the nuclear tests when relations were put back on a better footing. Under President Bush we secured a peaceful nuclear cooperation agreement with India,” Blinken said.
He added that it was incoming US President Biden who “led the efforts” at that time to get the nuclear deal approved by the Congress.
“And during Obama administration, we deepened cooperation with India, particularly in defense procurement area and also on information sharing, and I think the Trump administration carried that forward including with this concept of an Indo-Pacific and to make sure that we were working with India so that no country in the region, including China, could challenge its sovereignty, and also working with it on concerns that we share about terrorism,” he said.
Blinken, who is seen as a strong interlocutor for India, said there are “many ways” in which the US and India can “deepen” their cooperation “to pursue the path that successive administrations have put us on”.
Last year, on India’s Independence Day, Blinken addressed the Indian-American community where he spoke about an “increasingly assertive” China, referring to the ongoing tensions between New Delhi and Beijing at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.
‘Strong potential’ for US-India to work in climate change area
Blinken also said there is a “strong potential” for New Delhi and Washington working together in the area of climate change that carries a “lot of promise”.
“At the current rate things are going, India is poised over the next two to three decades to catch up to China in terms of the emissions that it produces at the same time as you know Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi has been a very strong advocate for looking at renewable energy and different technologies,” he said.
He added, “I think there is a very strong potential for our countries to work together in that area.”