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Wooing India: US focuses entry into Indian weapons market, wants Russia out

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www.freepressjournal.in

by Nadezhda Alekseeva and Russkaya Planeta

Washington: It has become apparent that the Americans are making great efforts to establish a military and political partnership with India, a major power that has traditionally gravitated towards maintaining good relations with Russia.

US President Barack Obama paid a “historic visit” to New Delhi in January 2015 and, according to some analysts, the visit “ended an era of estrangement between the two countries”, which had lasted for decades. The main outcome of the visit was a settlement of the question involving the supply of US nuclear technologies to India. The Americans are seeking to oust the Russian company Rosatom from India.

Anglo-Saxons eager to enter the Indian Subcontinent

The main focus of talks was the US entry into the Indian weapons market, traditionally occupied by products from the Russian military-industrial complex. As part of the DTTI programme, four joint pilot projects were launched. These included the production of a new generation of lightweight drones, the RQ-11 Raven, containers with reconnaissance equipment for the C-130, portable hybrid power generators, and uniforms aimed to provide protection against chemical and biological weapons.

“In the footsteps” of Obama’s visit, Pentagon Chief Ashton Carter visited India in June 2015. His trip resulted in the two countries signing a ten-year framework agreement on defence cooperation.

New Delhi’s cooperation with Washington is developing not only in the technologies sphere, but also in the military and political areas. India appears to be willing, more than ever before, to cooperate with the United States, in the background of strained relations with China.

The Malabar 2015 joint naval exercises were held last year, involving naval forces of the USA, India, and Japan; to the displeasure of Chinese authorities. These were the first such exercises held since 2007, and India said these would become an annual event.

During the preceding eight years, such exercises were not carried out because China objected to them, but now the regional powers are willing to aggravate their relations with China under the aegis of the United States. Analysts say the reasons for the escalation in tensions in South Asia are the growing territorial ambitions of Beijing.

Adding to the long-standing conflict between India and China, concerning the disputed ownership of territories of Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh, relations have been further exacerbated by competition for control over the South China Sea. This despite the fact that Delhi is not formally a party to the dispute between Beijing and Washington over the sea passage lanes, through which up to 50% of India’s trade travels.

However, Indian politicians fear that China will not limit itself to the South China Sea, and will try to expand its influence towards the Indian Ocean as well.

Strained relations with Beijing are pushing New Delhi into the arms of Washington and leading to some cooling of relations with Moscow. However, it is also clear that Russia cannot become India’s ally in its confrontation with China.

What about Russia?

India is vital for the Russian defence establishment. In 2013, for example, India accounted for around 35% of all Russian arms exports and brought $4.7 billion in revenues to the domestic defence industry. New Delhi is firmly established as the major buyer of Russian military hardware.

However, contrary to expectations, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Russia in December 2015 did not result in the signing of large contracts for the supply of military equipment. Modi preferred to go slow, and put off the signing of most contracts for an indefinite period. The only significant defence cooperation deal was signing an agreement on the production, by the holding company Russian Helicopters, of 200 Ka-226 helicopters in India, within the framework of the “Make in India” programme.

In recent years, India has been insisting on Russian defence products being manufactured on its territory. This is not very favourable for Russia, and creates additional difficulties in the production process; the technological base and Indian experts are not able to fully provide the necessary operating conditions.

Partly for this reason, the programme to build a fifth generation fighter jet (FGFA) for the Indian Air Force was suspended. Although “on paper”, this fighter is ready to go, further work on the project has been stalled. India insists on parity distribution of all works between Russian and its own specialists, despite the fact that Indian aircraft builders are not yet ready to provide the necessary quality required for the production process.

Also, at the end of last year, the Indian military abandoned the idea of buying Russian 155 mm self-propelled guns, the MSTA-S, opting instead to buy South Korean K9 Thunder artillery systems.

Moscow intends on keeping New Delhi within its political orbit. During his meeting with the Indian PM Modi, Vladimir Putin said Russia was in favour of India becoming a permanent member of the UN Security Council, noting that it was “a great power, conducting a balanced and responsible foreign policy”.

However, according to Vladimir Sotnikov, senior researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies RAS, there exists no particular threat that rapprochement between India and the United States will lead to a deterioration of Russian-Indian relations. New Delhi should be able to stick to its multi-vector foreign policy, continue on its non-aligned course, which its leaders have been pursuing since the 1960s.

“We should not assume that if India has undertaken a policy of rapprochement with Washington, it is moving away from Russia and BRICS. Prime Minister Modi’s goal is to support equal relations with all large countries. Our strategic partnership with India continues, and the Indian sides close relations with the United States will not have any negative impact on cooperation between Moscow and Delhi. The fact that the Indian authorities are seeking to diversify their suppliers, buying weapons not only from Russia, but also from the United States, Israel, and other countries, does not indicate any anti-Russian intentions on the part of Delhi,” the analyst said in an interview.

Sotnikov said Indian politicians are aware that one of the objectives of the White House is to damage Russian-Indian relations, along with countering the ever-growing Chinese influence in the region, but Delhi intends to stay aloof from this confrontation.

Most analysts agree that Modi’s government was elected on the basis of its policy of pragmatism, and this is understandable because, despite the fact that in the first months of 2016, India has managed to overtake China in terms of economic growth rate, a large proportion of the country’s population still lives below the poverty line.

Will India be able to maintain a balance in its relations between the strongest world powers; Russia, the USA, and China; which are trying to pull New Delhi in diametrically opposite directions? Washington, according to many analysts, is making every effort to derail the current Indo-Russian partnership, and it is hoped that Indian politicians maintain the necessary cool-headedness, and keep at the right distance from their American colleagues, and not become involved in the confrontation between the West and Russia.

(The article was published in rbth.com)

  • SuchindranathAiyer

    India dare not let the US in and become a member of the US-NATO-Sunni Axis.

    US actions have been the deliberate advancement of a consistent pro-Sunni Islamic Policy since even before Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger and Sheikh Yamani forged the US-NATO-Sunni Petro Dollar Axis. Truman threw the Kurds into the Turkish Sunni belly in 1946. Nixon sent the Seventh Fleet up the Bay of Bengal to defend Pakistan;s right to practice Islam (mass rapes, sex slavery, genocide, vandalism etc) in 1971 and Turkey’s annexation of half of Cyprus in 1973 and the persecution of Shia Iran in International affairs. The US is a Polyphemus being ridden by Sunni (Petro Dollar) Islam as Sindbad was by the “Old Man of the Sea”. The White Hice, the State Department and the CIA are not accountable to the US people as much as internal US governance. From Nixon’s China and Pakistan to “contain India” (a suicidal India that is its own worst enemy, standing as a Totalitarian Anti-Hindu State on the two fundamental pillars of “reservations” and “corruption”) as State Policy, Bush (the Father’s) CIA when he founded the Bush wealth from largesse found under the Tent of Saud, to Reagan’s Iran-Contra and Taliban, to Clinton (the husband’s) bombing of Belgrade to cede Islam its first ethnically cleansed enclaves (Bosnia and Kosovo) in Europe since 1489, to Bush (the Son’s) Iraq and Obama (The Holy Ghost’s) ISIS, the White Hice have been acting just as any mercenary on the pay roll of Sunni (Petro Dollar) Islam might. Pakistan is the US’s consistent cat’s paw to contain India since Nixon as it has been China’s since inception. Islamic Terror is Pakistan’s favoured and consistent weapon in dealing with India and has full White Hice blessings. The US has tossed one country after another into the maws of Sunni Islam. Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Cyprus, Tunisia, “The Arab Spring” and Libya. Now the US has thrown its NATO allies in Europe into the anti-civilization and dehumanizing chaos called Islam.

    Daesh, Al Shebab like Boko Haram, Pakistan Army, Jaish e Mohammed, Lashkar e Taiba, Turkish Army, Saudi Army and so on are different regiments of Taliban (students of the Quran and the Hadiths raised in Madrassas around the world funded by Saudi and other Sunni Petro Dollars to impose what they have learned, Islam, on the rubble of civilization). They are not merely US allies, but US’ “boots on the ground” that are bringing democracy (regime change and chaos) on America’s behalf along with Islam (vandalism, gang rapes, beheadings, genocides, slavery and so on) on Mahomet’s behalf to the world.

    For Obama, ISIS has not been a question of choosing sides. It is a matter of fighting on his own side. Obama dropped a Billion dollars worth of high tech weaponry, including systems to drop Pakistan’s nuclear war heads deep inside India, into Pakistan’s lap in November 2015 after abusing Indian hospitality by starting a “tolerance” chorus of India’s Fifth Columnists

    US Greed and Islam’s hate made the perfect consort dancing together since Nixon, Kissinger and Sheikh Yamani forged the US-NATO-Sunni axis. The Islam Mahomet created was born from his selling his soul to Satan to sate his hatred with revenge on Muqqa. The US became partners in crime as it submitted to the oil well betwixt the mammoth thighs of Mammon.

  • SuchindranathAiyer

    India dare not let the US in and become a member of the US-NATO-Sunni Axis.

    “US President Barack Obama paid a “historic visit” to New Delhi in January 2015 and, according to some analysts, the visit “ended an era of estrangement between the two countries”, which had lasted for decades.” Seriously?

    For Obama, Daesh and Pakistan have not been a question of choosing sides. It is a matter of fighting on his own side. Obama dropped a Billion dollars worth of high tech weaponry, including systems to drop Pakistan’s nuclear war heads deep inside India, into Pakistan’s lap in November 2015 after abusing Indian hospitality by starting a “tolerance” chorus of India’s Fifth Columnists during his visit in January 2015.

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  • SuchindranathAiyer

    India dare not let the US in and become a member of the US-NATO-Sunni Axis.

    US actions have been the deliberate advancement of a consistent pro-Sunni Islamic Policy since even before Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger and Sheikh Yamani forged the US-NATO-Sunni Petro Dollar Axis. Truman threw the Kurds into the Turkish Sunni belly in 1946. Nixon sent the Seventh Fleet up the Bay of Bengal to defend Pakistan;s right to practice Islam (mass rapes, sex slavery, genocide, vandalism etc) in 1971 and Turkey’s annexation of half of Cyprus in 1973 and the persecution of Shia Iran in International affairs. The US is a Polyphemus being ridden by Sunni (Petro Dollar) Islam as Sindbad was by the “Old Man of the Sea”. The White Hice, the State Department and the CIA are not accountable to the US people as much as internal US governance. From Nixon’s China and Pakistan to “contain India” (a suicidal India that is its own worst enemy, standing as a Totalitarian Anti-Hindu State on the two fundamental pillars of “reservations” and “corruption”) as State Policy, Bush (the Father’s) CIA when he founded the Bush wealth from largesse found under the Tent of Saud, to Reagan’s Iran-Contra and Taliban, to Clinton (the husband’s) bombing of Belgrade to cede Islam its first ethnically cleansed enclaves (Bosnia and Kosovo) in Europe since 1489, to Bush (the Son’s) Iraq and Obama (The Holy Ghost’s) ISIS, the White Hice have been acting just as any mercenary on the pay roll of Sunni (Petro Dollar) Islam might. Pakistan is the US’s consistent cat’s paw to contain India since Nixon as it has been China’s since inception. Islamic Terror is Pakistan’s favoured and consistent weapon in dealing with India and has full White Hice blessings. The US has tossed one country after another into the maws of Sunni Islam. Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Cyprus, Tunisia, “The Arab Spring” and Libya. Now the US has thrown its NATO allies in Europe into the anti-civilization and dehumanizing chaos called Islam.

    Daesh, Al Shebab like Boko Haram, Pakistan Army, Jaish e Mohammed, Lashkar e Taiba, Turkish Army, Saudi Army and so on are different regiments of Taliban (students of the Quran and the Hadiths raised in Madrassas around the world funded by Saudi and other Sunni Petro Dollars to impose what they have learned, Islam, on the rubble of civilization). They are not merely US allies, but US’ “boots on the ground” that are bringing democracy (regime change and chaos) on America’s behalf along with Islam (vandalism, gang rapes, beheadings, genocides, slavery and so on) on Mahomet’s behalf to the world.

    For Obama, ISIS has not been a question of choosing sides. It is a matter of fighting on his own side. Obama dropped a Billion dollars worth of high tech weaponry, including systems to drop Pakistan’s nuclear war heads deep inside India, into Pakistan’s lap in November 2015 after abusing Indian hospitality by starting a “tolerance” chorus of India’s Fifth Columnists

    US Greed and Islam’s hate made the perfect consort dancing together since Nixon, Kissinger and Sheikh Yamani forged the US-NATO-Sunni axis. The Islam Mahomet created was born from his selling his soul to Satan to sate his hatred with revenge on Muqqa. The US became partners in crime as it submitted to the oil well betwixt the mammoth thighs of Mammon.

  • SuchindranathAiyer

    India dare not let the US in and become a member of the US-NATO-Sunni Axis.

    “US President Barack Obama paid a “historic visit” to New Delhi in January 2015 and, according to some analysts, the visit “ended an era of estrangement between the two countries”, which had lasted for decades.” Seriously?

    For Obama, Daesh and Pakistan have not been a question of choosing sides. It is a matter of fighting on his own side. Obama dropped a Billion dollars worth of high tech weaponry, including systems to drop Pakistan’s nuclear war heads deep inside India, into Pakistan’s lap in November 2015 after abusing Indian hospitality by starting a “tolerance” chorus of India’s Fifth Columnists during his visit in January 2015.

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U.S. Tariffs on China Could Remain Same, Even After Reaching The Trade Deal

Tariffs on imported automobiles — as are being contemplated by the White House — "would be counterproductive, like we have seen with steel tariffs," said Srinivasan, who was part of former President Barack Obama's Advanced Manufacturing Partnership task force.

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Trade Deal
Shipping containers, including one labeled "China Shipping," are stacked at the Paul W. Conley Container Terminal in Boston, Mass., May 9, 2018. VOA

U.S. tariffs on China are likely to remain in place for a while, even if a trade deal is reached, President Donald Trump told reporters Wednesday.

“The deal is coming along nicely,” the president said about the trade talks with Beijing, noting U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin would be heading to China within days to continue discussions.

“We’re taking in billions and billions of dollars right now in tariff money, and for a period of time that will stay,” Trump said.

The president’s remarks indicated that Washington’s tariffs could stay in place until U.S. officials are convinced the Chinese are adhering to the terms of the agreement.

“They’ve had a lot of problems living by certain deals,” the president noted on the White House South Lawn just before boarding the Marine One helicopter.

President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departs on travel to Ohio from the White House in Washington, March 20, 2019.
President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departs on travel to Ohio from the White House in Washington, March 20, 2019. VOA

China might accept a deal in which most of the U.S. tariffs are rolled back, according to Brookings Institution senior fellow David Dollar, but he said he expected President Xi Jinping would not accept any pact in which no tariffs were lifted.

“It’s very hard for the Chinese president to agree to a deal that’s so clearly asymmetric. Chinese people are so active on the internet and social media, and President Xi will hear about it from the people if he makes a deal that looks bad for China,” Dollar told VOA.

Tit-for-tat tariffs imposed last year ignited fears of a trade war between the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies, which annually trade more than a half-trillion dollars’ worth of goods.

The value of Chinese products sold in the United States far outweighs the value of those sent to China, and that deficit alone represents about 80 percent of America’s overall trade gap in goods.

A pillar of the Trump presidency has been reducing that huge gap by negotiating bilateral trade deals and rebuilding the U.S. manufacturing base.

President Donald Trump shakes hands with supporters as he arrives at Allen County Airport, March 20, 2019, in Lima, Ohio.
President Donald Trump shakes hands with supporters as he arrives at Allen County Airport, March 20, 2019, in Lima, Ohio. VOA

Trump traveled Wednesday to an area in Ohio where General Motors is set to shutter a car assembly plant, affecting about 1,500 jobs and undercutting the president’s manufacturing revival message.

“What’s going on with General Motors?” Trump asked during a speech. “Get that plant open or sell it to somebody and they’ll open it. Everybody wants it.”

“Intervening to try to keep one factory open isn’t going to do much for the economy” at a time when manufacturing is declining as a share of the overall job market, said Dollar, of the Brookings Institution. “It’s a bad precedent for politicians to intervene like that.”

A resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, Claude Barfield, agrees presidents should not intervene in individual corporate decisions.

“The president is woefully ignorant about trade and this part of the economy. He thinks it does help. I don’t think it does at all help,” Barfield, a former consultant to the office of the U.S. trade representative, told VOA.

The closure of the GM plant in Lordstown, according to a Cleveland State University study, will result in a total loss of 7,700 jobs in the region, including supply chain and consumer services employment tied to the auto plant, cutting 10 percent of the gross regional product in the greater Youngstown area.

Trump, in his remarks on Wednesday, placed some of the blame on the United Auto Workers, the union representing the GM workers.

“Your union leaders aren’t on our side,” Trump declared. “They could have kept General Motors” operating the Lordstown plant.