Senate Majority Leader says U.S. and India need to bolster ties to counter China

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US Congressional Delegation with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar on February 20, 2023, in New Delhi. PHOTO: @narendramodi/twitter

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who led a high-powered US Congressional Delegation to India informed the Senate on February 27, 2023, that the delegation conveyed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi the importance of a joint India-US efforts to counter the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

The delegation of nine Senators that included Schumer, Ron Wyden, Jack Reed, Maria Cantwell, Amy Klobuchar, Mark Warner, Gary Peters, Catherine Cortez Masto, and Peter Welch met with Modi to discuss “critical technologies, clean energy transition, joint development and production, and trusted and resilient supplies chains,” to strengthen India-US ties, said a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Schumer told the Senate floor, “India is precisely the kind of partner that the U.S. needs” to counter the CCP’s aggressive tactics and that he told Modi in New Delhi “If our democracies are to prosper in this century, we are going to have to work together not only to boost our common defense, but to promote our mutual prosperity.” He also conveyed the importance of collaboration in the realm of progressive technologies, such as, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and semiconductor manufacturing.

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“India, the US and all the world’s democracies—we’re the largest two—must make sure these technologies become vectors of prosperity, not the weapons of autocratic regimes. We’ve already seen how the Chinese Communist Party uses AI to eavesdrop on its people and prevent them from getting full knowledge, but just propaganda,” Schumer noted. “I think the Prime Minister appreciated the point we were making about the need for India and the United States, the two largest democracies, to work together against the CCP hegemony.”

President & CEO of US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, Mukesh Aghi, who greeted the visiting Congressional Delegation in India, told News India Times, on March 3, “I think it’s important that two democracies [US and India] which have the same value system and open societies come together to counter China.”

A day after Schumer’s floor statement, Indian-American Democratic Ranking Member of the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, Raja Krishnamoorthi, in his opening statement during the Committee’s first hearing titled “The Chinese Communist Party’s Threat to America,” underscored three important themes to overcome China’s threat.

Those themes include, protecting the interests and values of US; upping the game in areas such as future technologies, supply chains, and legal immigration; and avoiding anti-Chinese or Asian stereotyping thereby practicing bipartisanship.

Krishnamoorthi told the Committee that “Over the last three decades, both Democrats and Republicans underestimated the CCP and assumed that trade and investment would inevitably lead to democracy and greater security in the Indo-Pacific region, including in the PRC. Instead, the opposite happened.”

With the CCP’s economy progressively strengthening with gaining access to US markets, Krishnamoorthi pointed out that the CCP, through its authoritarian regime, threatened neighboring Taiwan, pursued an aggressive economic agenda to undermine the US economy, and targeted its competitors, including the US, by attacking their future technologies sector.

To strengthen U.S. both domestically and globally, Krishnamoorthi’s recommendation was that the US should be investing in future technologies to boost manufacturing, deterring CCP’s aggression to avoid “clash of civilizations,” and strengthening global partnerships to counter the “CCP’s security challenges” and tackle “anti-competitive economic policies.”

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