World

Joe Biden and his ties with India

NEW DELHI: Having served as Barack Obama‘s vice-president for two terms, US President-elect Joe Biden is a familiar figure in India. There will be some areas where he will follow Donald Trump regarding India, and others where he would diverge.
Defence, strategic and security relations will likely follow a path that has remained largely the same since 2000, but there is a divide in the Biden camp about its approach to China, which could have implications for India.
What Biden’s presidency means for India?
As a vice-president, Biden came to India from July 22-25 in 2013 on a four-day official visit, accompanied by his wife Jill.
While the India-US partnership has thrived under both the Republicans and Democrats, Biden has been a strong supporter of India and the India-US partnership as a senator (1973-2008) and later as a vice-president (2009-2016).
As a senator, and as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he consistently lent his support to several resolutions in support of India.
In August 2001, as a senator Biden — who was also the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — wrote a letter to President George W Bush calling on the new administration to unilaterally drop the US sanctions against India.
As the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden worked towards the US Senate’s approval of the US-India Civil Nuclear Agreement in 2008, and co-sponsored several legislations on countering terrorism.
Prominenet think-tanks and Indian-American experts are of the opinion that a Biden administration will be mostly positive for India.
According to Ajay Jain Bhutoria, a Biden supporter, the President-elect will bring US and India more closer.
Biden understands the issues impacting India — cross border terrorism, issues related to Indo Pacific region with China — and supports the rise of India, he said.
India-US relationship thrived under Obama administration and it will thrive again under a Biden-Harris administration,” Bhutoria said.
In the run-up to the elections on August 15, Biden spoke of the “special bond” between India and the United States. He also called for expanding two-way trade and tackling big global challenges, including climate change and global health security together with India.
Along with Biden, Kamala Harris, 56, would be sworn in as the vice president of the United States on January 20, 2021. She will also be the first-ever Indian-origin vice president of the US.
Many observers are hopeful that Harris, whose mother belonged to India, being the vice president will further strengthen the India-US relations.
(With inputs from agencies)

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