Biden Administration Calls India, new developments in Indo-Pacific region discussed

A week after Joe Biden got his presidency, Joe Biden and his administration have been making phone calls to key US allies including the Quad members, Japan, Australia, and India, signaling continuity with change.

By Harkirpal Singh, Updated : Jan 29, 2021 14:39 IST
Biden Administration Calls India, new developments in Indo-Pacific region discussed
Joe Biden and PM Modi

In the first week of his presidency, Joe Biden and his administration have been making phone calls to key US allies including the Quad members, Japan, Australia, and India, signaling continuity with change, especially in the Middle East. According to defense sources, a hierarchy has been observed in the calling pattern of the Biden administration. First, Biden Administration called treaty-bound allies like Britain, Australia, New Zealand, & Japan and then they contacted India.

Similar calls took place between the US and other countries as well, like Russia. It has been observed that While the basic American strategic direction remains is likely to remain the same but big changes are expected to take place in many areas. Japan, for instance, is a treaty-bound ally of the US and is under pressure from China due to territorial disputes over the Senkaku Islands.

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Over a phone call with Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Biden said that the US particularly remains committed to Article 5 of the US-Japan security treaty, which lays down the direction in case one of the countries is threatened by a third country. Biden has also confirmed extended deterrence of the US nuclear umbrella for Japan, and the protection of the Senkaku Islands, which sends a clear message to China.

In its calls to India, not only was the US-India Alliance reaffirmed, but the same was also assured by all the top American officials and also by Joe Biden himself, which removes any doubt that the new administration will not be committed to the Indo-Pacific alliance. In a phone call with his Australian counterpart Marise Payne, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated his commitment to the Quad — which the CCP had described as an ‘instrument of new Cold War’.

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In its phone calls to the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, the US has reasserted that it remains committed to its territorial status in the South China Sea and rejects Chinese claims over 80 percent of the South China Sea – this is very important to the Philippines, which is also an old ally of the US. This clearly shows that although the administration has changed, the USA's stance towards China remains the same.

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