U.S., India partnership targets arms, AI to compete with China

WASHINGTON, Jan 31 (Reuters) – The White House is launching a partnership with India on Tuesday that President Joe Biden hopes will help the countries compete with China in military equipment, semiconductors and artificial intelligence.

Washington wants to deploy more Western mobile phone networks in the subcontinent to counter China’s Huawei Technologies, welcome more Indian computer chip specialists to the United States and encourage companies from both countries to cooperate on military equipment such as artillery systems.

The White House faces an uphill battle on every front, including US restrictions on the transfer of military technology and visas for migrant workers, along with India’s long-standing dependence on Moscow for military hardware.

Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan and his Indian counterpart Ajit Doval are meeting with senior officials from both countries at the White House on Tuesday to launch the US-India Critical and Emerging Technologies Initiative.

“The biggest challenge China poses — its economic practices, its aggressive military moves, its efforts to dominate the industries of the future and control the supply chains of the future — has had a profound impact on thinking in Delhi,” Sullivan said. . .

Doval will also meet with Foreign Secretary Anthony Blinken during his three-day visit to Washington, which ends on Wednesday.

New Delhi has frustrated Washington by participating in military exercises with Russia and increasing purchases of the country’s crude oil, a key source of funding for Russia’s war in Ukraine. But Washington has held its tongue, pushing the country toward Russia while condoning India’s more aggressive stance toward China.

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On Monday, Sullivan and Doval attended a Chamber of Commerce event with corporate leaders from Lockheed Martin Corp, ( LMT.N ) Adani Enterprises ( ADEL.NS ) and Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT.O)

Although India is part of the Biden administration’s signature Asian engagement plan, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), it chose not to participate in IPEF’s trade pillar negotiations.

The initiative also includes a joint effort on space and high-performance quantum computing.

General Electric Co, ( GE.N ) meanwhile, is seeking permission from the U.S. government to produce jet engines with India that will power aircraft it operates and produces in India, according to the White House, which says that the review is ongoing.

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New Delhi said the US government would review General Electric’s application expeditiously and that the two countries would focus on joint production of “key items of mutual interest” in defence.

The two countries also established a quantum technology coordination mechanism and agreed to form a working group with the Semiconductor Mission of India, the India Electronics Semiconductor Association (IESA) and the US Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) to promote the development of semiconductor ecosystems.

India’s space program will work with NASA on human spaceflight opportunities and other projects, the Indian statement said.

Report by Trevor Hunnicutt. Additional reporting by Krishn Kaushik in Delhi. Editing by Chris Sanders, Josie Kao, Himani Sarkar, YP Rajesh and Gerry Doyle

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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