New Delhi/Washington: – A US warship undertook a mission named Freedom of Navigation, 130 nautical miles from the Indian islands of Lakshadweep. India objected to this mission that was carried out on the 7th of April of the US warship USS John Paul Jones. This region is a part of the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The Indian foreign ministry reminded that prior permission has to be sought from India before holding exercises or explosions in this region. Whereas the United States claimed that this exercise is within the framework of international regulations and claimed that the United States had held similar practices in the past. Although India has dismissed the claim, it is becoming apparent that the suspicion expressed by the analysts that the Biden administration will try and weaken the QAUD cooperation, developing against China, from inside, is coming true.
The United States accepted holding the exercises within the EEZ. But it stated that there is nothing new in it, and the United States does not require anyone’s permission for holding such practices given the freedom of international freight movement. In other words, the United States is saying that it will not be paying any heed to the objections raised by India. The United States said that the exercises were consistent with international regulations. Indian Foreign Ministry dismissed the US claim. This exercise is not within the framework of international rules. The foreign ministry warned that the United States needed to obtain permission from India. The foreign ministry said in its statement that this issue would be raised on the diplomatic level. India has indicated that it is not going to overlook such US activities.
Senior US officials claim that the United States, which is confronting China, has a pressing need that India aligns with it. The US Secretary of Defence, who visited India a few days ago, also claimed that India would have an essential role in the Indo-Pacific sector. In this scenario, when China is carrying out aggressive activities in the marine sector, the United States is inciting India by holding exercises in the EEZ. Therefore, it cannot be denied that the Biden administration is plotting to weaken QUAD’s foundation.
Currently, the Biden administration is forced to take a stand against China because of the aggressive Chinese activities. But this opposition will be verbal, and the Biden administration’s actions against China will only be superficial. The Biden administration will not take any firm decision challenging China. Certain analysts had expressed a doubt that instead, the Biden administration will only think as to how can the organisation QUAD, confronting China, can be weakened. The exercise in the Indian EEZ is indicating that the Biden administration is taking steps in that direction. Using the Indian reaction, the Biden administration can manoeuvre to affect the relations with India, and in turn, with QUAD. China will be the biggest beneficiary in this. For the last few weeks, the Biden administration is taking decisions that are beneficial to China.
The soft stand against the military coup in Myanmar and the noncommittal stand on the Chinese intrusion into the marine sector of a country like the Philippines are some examples. Moreover, it is becoming evident that the Biden administration is consciously ignoring the repeated intrusion of the Taiwanese airspace by Chinese aircraft. Therefore, it has been exposed that the Chinese aggression has become unabated ever since Biden took over as the President. In this scenario, there is a reason to suspect that the Biden administration is carrying out activities so that the US relations with India are strained, in Chinese interest.
Repercussions of these self-destructive policies of the Biden administration may be felt in the times to come. The leaders and senior military officials from the United States, aware of the Chinese threats to the United States, repeatedly point out the importance of India to the Biden administration. Instead of thinking about India narrow-mindedly, these officials are advising that they think of India as a strategic partner. Ignoring their advice can prove costly for the Biden administration in the future.