India needs to “get off the fence” and consider joining a “coalition of the willing” with the US and other democracies to confront China’s model of state-sponsored “authoritarian capitalism”, leader of the US Democratic legislator. Mark Warner said at the 18th Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.
Warner, who is also vice chairman of the Senate intelligence select committee, said that despite China’s aggressive military actions and even the armed conflict with India in recent months, New Delhi needs to take an approach to addressing Beijing that incorporates the military, economic and technological points of view.
In a session moderated by the president of the United States-India Strategic Partnership Forum, Mukesh Aghi, Warner said that the Indian government must demonstrate to the United States and the world “its commitment to democracy in India itself” and be more aggressive in explaining changes made to Jammu. And the special status of Kashmir last year and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA.
India has been reluctant to offend China and took a middle course, but this has been challenged by aggressive military actions by Beijing in recent months, said Warner, who was re-elected for a third term in the US Senate in November. . China has also embraced “authoritarian capitalism,” allowing fierce domestic competition in technologies like 5G, artificial intelligence, and quantum computing, leading to national champions like Huawei Technologies.
Companies like Huawei are counting on China’s backing to dominate global markets, and other nations are unable to “embrace the state-sponsored model of authoritarian capitalism,” Warner said. India is a leader in technology, but it needs to collaborate with other democracies to establish standards and rules.
“India will have to get off the fence and realize that the model of authoritarian capitalism that China is launching, it cannot be on the fence in that, it has to decide if it is going to align itself with democracies. Clearly, India is the largest democracy in the world and I think it will align itself with that group, ”he said.
There is a proposal for the “five eyes” alliance (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom) to collaborate with partners such as India, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Israel on these issues, and there may be more Commitment to issues such as data localization and technology to create a fair playing field, said Warner, who was an early investor in the cell phone business, co-founded the company that became Nextel and has invested in hundreds of startups.
While President Donald Trump was “in the right direction” in confronting China, he did not offer enough to other nations to partner with the United States in these efforts, Warner said. He expressed the hope that the Joe Biden administration will remain tough on China as it builds collaboration with democracies, including those that signed up for the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which focuses on values, norms. and global supply chains.
Warner also said that the Indian government “has not been … leaning forward” in making its case in the United States and around the world on the changes in Kashmir and CAA. There are also concerns about restrictions on travel within Kashmir, including by foreign journalists, and the shutdown of the internet.
“I have privately expressed my concern to the Indian government about how this is unfolding and I believe that the Indian government will need to be more aggressive in making its case and that some of the changes in terms of the Indian federal charter for these two regions will actually mean more. advancement and more freedom in the long term and not simply an effort to silence communities that may be Muslim majority, ”he said.
Speaking on the issue of terrorism, Warner said it was a “huge challenge” that many organizations, such as the Haqqani Network, the Taliban and the Islamic State, still have safe havens in Pakistan. India has shown “remarkable restraint” after the 2008 Mumbai attacks and other “actions that obviously originated in Pakistan,” he said.
He also expressed concern about Trump’s arbitrary decision to reduce troop levels in Afghanistan before leaving office, saying this leaves 30 other nations and Afghans who joined the counterterrorism in the lurch. There may be short-term gains from Trump’s move, but it undermines India’s efforts to strengthen Afghan civil society, he added.
The Biden administration can build on the progress made by the Trump administration, such as the 2 + 2 dialogue and the inclusion of Australia in this year’s Malabar naval exercise, Warner said.
“I think one of the differences is that Donald Trump viewed the whole world through a ‘America first’ approach to foreign policy, where you partner with America only if it benefits America’s fiscal outcomes. I think there will be under the Biden administration … more [of] a notion, particularly if we think of China and some of the other questions, [of] a coalition of the willing, ”he said.