US-India partnership targets weapons and AI to compete with China

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

Washington wants to build more Western cellphone 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 work together on military equipment like artillery systems.

The White House faces an uphill battle on every front, including US restrictions on military technology transfers and visas for immigrants, along with India’s longstanding 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.

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“The larger challenge posed by China — its economic practices, its aggressive military moves, its efforts to dominate the industries of the future and control the supply chains of the future — are having a profound impact on Delhi thinking,” Sullivan said.

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 kept its mouth shut, nudging the country towards Russia while condoning India’s more aggressive stance towards China.

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

While India is part of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) Asia engagement project signed by the Biden government, it has opted not to participate in the IPEF trade pillar negotiations.

The initiative also includes a collaborative effort in the fields of space and high-performance quantum computing.

General Electric Co (GE.N), meanwhile, is asking the US government for permission to produce jet engines with India that would power Indian-operated and manufactured planes, according to the White House, which says a review is underway.

Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Edited by Chris Sanders and Josie Kao

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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