News US-India Partnership Targets Weapons and AI to Compete with China
WASHINGTON, Jan 31 (Reuters) – The White House will forge a partnership with India on Tuesday that President Joe Biden hopes will help the two countries compete with China in military equipment, semiconductors and artificial intelligence (AI) .
Washington wants to deploy more Western mobile phone networks across the subcontinent to counter China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd (HWT.UL), welcome more Indian computer chip experts to the U.S. and encourage companies from the two countries to cooperate on military equipment such as artillery systems .
However, the White House faces an uphill battle on all fronts, including U.S. restrictions on military technology transfers and visas for immigrant workers, as well as India’s long-term dependence on Moscow for military hardware, which now hopes to be resolved.
On Tuesday, Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, and his Indian national security adviser, Ajit Doval, will meet with senior officials from both countries at the White House to kick-start U.S.-India critical and emerging technologies initiative.
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“The larger challenges posed by China — its economic practices, its aggressive military operations, its efforts to dominate the industries of the future and control future supply chains — had a profound effect on Delhi’s thinking,” Sullivan said.
“This is yet another major foundational part of the overall strategy to put the democratic world in a strong position throughout the Indo-Pacific … this is a strategic bet by the two leaders … on the idea of a deeper ecosystem between the United States and India will serve our strategic, economic and technological interests.”
New Delhi has frustrated Washington by taking part in military exercises with Russia and increasing purchases of the country’s crude oil, which is Russia’s main source of funding for its war in Ukraine. But Washington has remained silent, pushing the country on Russia’s side while condoning India’s tougher stance on China.
Sullivan and Doval joined business leaders from Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), Adani Enterprises (ADEL.NS) and Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT.O) at a chamber of commerce event on Monday
While India is part of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), the Biden administration’s signature Asian engagement project on supply chains, clean energy and anti-corruption, it has opted not to join negotiations on the trade pillar of IPEF.
The new initiative also includes joint efforts in space and high-performance quantum computing.
Meanwhile, General Electric Co ( GE.N ) is asking the U.S. government for approval to partner with India to produce jet engines that will power aircraft operated and produced in India, according to the White House, which it said was under review.
Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Chris Sanders, Josie Kao and Himani Sarkar
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