PM Modi’s Visit Not About China, India No Counterweight, Says White House

Last Updated: June 24, 2023, 00:55 IST

Washington D.C., United States of America (USA)

Kirby stressed that PM Modi's visit was about sending the message to the American and Indian people about how important this bilateral relationship is and people around the world.(Reuters File Photo)

Kirby stressed that PM Modi’s visit was about sending the message to the American and Indian people about how important this bilateral relationship is and people around the world.(Reuters File Photo)

John Kirby, US National Security Council spokesman, said the Washington-New Delhi relationship has its own merit

A top White House official reaffirmed on Friday that the United States does not consider India as a counterweight to China, emphasizing that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s State Visit was not centered around Beijing.

John Kirby, US National Security Council spokesman, said the Washington-New Delhi relationship stands on its own merit and is about the Indian and American people.

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While acknowledging India’s challenges with China, Kirby emphasized that India deals with them independently.

“This State visit (of PM Modi) wasn’t about China. India has challenges with China as well right on their doorstep and more broadly in their region. Clearly, the challenges presented by the PRC to both our nations were on the agenda yesterday. But this wasn’t about leveraging India to be some sort of counter-weight. India is a sovereign, independent state,” John Kirby said during a press conference.

Answering a question on India’s role with respect to Washington’s China policy, Kirby said, “We are not viewing India as a counterweight to China. We weren’t approaching the state visit as some sort of messaging opportunity to China.”

Kirby stressed that PM Modi’s visit was about sending the message to the American and Indian people about how important this bilateral relationship is and people around the world.

“India has challenges on their own and they address those challenges, largely on their own. Now, they are the members of the Indo-Pacific Quad and have been terrific contributors to the multilateral form,” he added.

Regarding India-Russia ties, the White House official said, “India has to make its own choices about (Russian) oil purchases and we hope that we can continue to see that they purchase Russian oil at or below the price cap, as they have been.”

On Friday, PM Modi met with US and Indian technology CEOs in Washington, the final day of a state visit marked by pledges of deeper US-India cooperation in areas including space, artificial intelligence and quantum computing.

President Joe Biden and Modi gathered with CEOs including Apple’s Tim Cook, Google’s Sundar Pichai and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella.

Also present were Sam Altman of OpenAI, NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, and Indian tech leaders including Anand Mahindra, chairman of Mahindra Group, and Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, the White House said.

“Our partnership between India and the United States will go a long way, in my view, to define what the 21st century looks like,” Biden told the group, adding that technological cooperation would be a big part of that partnership.

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