India values ​​’strategic independence’ over reliance on US despite series of meetings with Quad partners

United States, India Illustration: Chen Xia/GT

India is holding a series of flash meetings with its Quad partners this week, including meetings of senior Quad officials with the United States, Australia and Japan, and 2 + 2 meetings with the United States and Japan separately, which have been branded by some media as the latest meeting in New Delhi. movement to build support for Washington. However, Chinese observers have said that unlike Japan and Australia, which have tied themselves closely to the US anti-China tank, India’s cooperation with the US is based on not not undermine India’s strategic independence.

Chinese observers have said that with India poised to become a developed country as Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently promised, it will value its strategic independence more than blindly following the United States.

U.S. Under Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu is leading a U.S. delegation to India Monday through Thursday to deepen the comprehensive global strategic partnership between the United States and India, during of which Lu will be joined by the Deputy Under Secretary for the Bureau. of East Asia and Pacific Affairs Camille Dawson for a Quad Senior Officials Meeting and Assistant Secretary of the Ministry of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Ely Ratner for a 2+2 intersessional meeting between the United States and India and a maritime security dialogue, according to the US State Department.

The Hindu reported that the Quad meeting was scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, and India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh will also travel to Tokyo later in the week for an India- Japan “2+2”. Indian Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal will visit the United States for bilateral trade talks and the third ministerial meeting of the Indo-Pacific Economic Forum (IPEF) in Los Angeles, according to the report.

The report said India’s series of meetings with Quad partners was a “balancing” move ahead of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in mid-September.

Chinese analysts have recognized India’s increasingly important and unique role in the current bloc confrontation, as the West deepens its rapprochement with India in order to contain China, while Russia maintains relations positive with India.

India sees in the game of great powers an opportunity for its strategic rise. For example, some Indians believe that the suppression of China by the United States and the West is a very rare opportunity for India, said Hu Shisheng, director of the Institute of South Asian Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, at the Global Times. .

India’s cooperation with the United States has not turned it against Russia, Zhao Gancheng, a researcher at the Shanghai Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times.

India is the only Quad member that has not joined the United States in sanctioning Russia or blaming it for the conflict with Ukraine, and Zhao believes this Quad meeting is unlikely to see results.” shocking”.

Indian media said the Quad meeting is expected to discuss strengthening food security and energy security initiatives.

In an interview with Indian news outlet PTI, Russian Ambassador to India Denis Alipov recently criticized the US Indo-Pacific policy, saying it was part of a “policy of containment”, but appreciated India’s position at the Quad for refusing to endorse its “dividing” statements.

Moreover, what makes India a fundamentally different member of the Quad is that it prioritizes its strategic independence over serving as a pawn of the United States at the cost of giving up independence like the Japan and Australia, analysts pointed out.

India will never wholeheartedly cooperate with the United States, and this is not just a strategic choice. India will only cooperate with the United States if it is in its interest to do so, Zhao said.

Today, India is focusing on becoming a developed country by 2047, and it will place more importance on strategic independence with growing economic power, which could make India a power. important for a multipolar world that weakens US hegemony, observers said.

Qian Feng, director of the research department of the National Strategic Institute of Tsinghua University, told the Global Times that on reforming the international order, India hopes Asian countries can play a greater role in the global political arena, so he understands that an all-out confrontation between China and India is definitely not in India’s interest.

Furthermore, the economies of the United States and the West are in relative decline. Therefore, if India wants to become a developed country, as Modi said, it must cooperate with the world’s second-largest economy, Qian said.

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