The White House on Wednesday released a 10-page document outlining the Trump administration’s strategy from 2018 to address China – underscoring India’s role as a new ally in Asia.
The document contains few surprises outlining plans to support allies and increase economic and counterintelligence efforts in neighboring countries.
But the US cooperation with India is prominent in the assessment.
“A strong India, in cooperation with like-minded countries, will act as a counterweight to China,” it said.
“China is aiming to dissolve US alliances and partnerships in the region. China will take advantage of vacuum cleaners and opportunities created by these diminished bonds. ”
The White House National Security Council report said the United States will “[a]I need to create a four-sided security framework with India, Japan, Australia and the United States as the main hubs. ”
President Trump initially cultivated a warm personal relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, but the bond disappeared with a trade war aimed at forcing an agreement to reform Chinese economic policy. Last year, Trump approved sanctions against Chinese officials for removing Hong Kong’s political autonomy and for abusing Uighur Muslim minorities. He also promised to “decouple” the United States and China economically in response to fraud in early data on COVID-19.
Unlike Trump, who was elected president, Biden has not spoken to the president of Taiwan since he won the election.
Trump visited India in February and in 2019 hosted a “Howdy, Modi!” gathers in Houston with 50,000 Indian Americans welcoming a visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The strategy paper states that the United States will try to “[a]Accelerate India’s rise and capacity to serve as a security network provider and major defense partner Strengthen a lasting strategic partnership with India backed by a strong Indian military capable of effectively cooperating with the US and our partners in the region to counter common interests . ”
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The document states that the United States must “[p]artist with India on cyber and space security and knowledge of maritime domain [and] [e]xpand division between the United States and India of intelligence and analytical exchanges. ”
The vision of strengthening India also implies “[w]ork[ing] with India and Japan to help fund projects that improve regional links between India and the countries of the region. ”
Although the strategy is outdated, other traditional US priorities are emphasized, such as protecting Taiwan’s de facto independence from China and persuading North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons. Since the document was drafted, the Trump administration has led a largely successful campaign to deter allies from using Chinese telecommunications company Huawei for 5G infrastructure due to espionage problems.
The document states that the United States must “[e]Taiwan could develop an effective asymmetric defense strategy and capabilities that would help ensure its security, freedom from coercion, resilience, and the ability to engage China on its own terms. ”