US - India

Sep — Dec 2022
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Friends with Benefits

By Akhil Ramesh
Published January 2023 in Comparative Connections · Volume 24, Issue 3 (This article is extracted from Comparative Connections: A Triannual E-Journal of Bilateral Relations in the Indo-Pacific, Vol. 24, No. 3, January 2023. Preferred citation: Akhil Ramesh, “US-India Relations: Friends with Benefits,” Comparative Connections, Vol. 24, No. 3, pp 61-72.)

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This chapter was made possible through a grant from the Hindu American Foundation

2022 was a challenging year, not just for US-India relations, but for every India analyst trying to explain the Indian government’s position on the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Explaining to a non-IR audience India’s history of nonalignment during the Cold-War era and its current policy of multi-alignment was not a gratifying endeavor. While the last four months of 2022 did not have the friction and stress-tests as the first four of 2022 or the slow and steady expansion of relations that followed between May and September, they certainly had multiple surprising events that could make them the halcyon months of 2022. In mid-November, the US and Indian armies engaged in a military exercise at Auli, not far from the Line of Actual Control (LAC) separating Indian-held and Chinese-held territory. While the US and Indian armies have engaged in exercises prior to 2022, this proximity to the Indo-China border is a first. A month later, in another first, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen traveled to India to meet Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to expand the US-India “Indo-Pacific partnership.” Yellen characterized India as a “friendly shore” for supply chain diversification and as the indispensable partner for the US.

A country that earned notoriety for its bureaucracy and trade protectionism over the years was suddenly characterized as “friendly”; one that was highly skeptical of foreign militaries on its shores was actively engaging the US military at one of its most sensitive and tempestuous borders.

The primary catalyst for this sea change has been shared concerns over a rising, authoritarian, and hegemonic China. The events of the last four months, while making India’s multi-alignment labored, also made it abundantly clear that the US-India relations will continue to expand to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific.

A Made in China Bonhomie

While 2022 started with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 and the subsequent flaring of Cold War-era differences between the US and India, as months passed both US and India tempered their expectations of radical change regarding their legacy relationships with Russia and Pakistan—particularly toward the end of the year.

This was, however, not a result of India recognizing US support of Pakistan for counter-terrorism or the US getting on board with India’s relationship with its adversarial nations. Both nations re-centered the discussion to address a long-term pressing challenge, namely China.

In the last four months of 2022, India had another round of state-level elections in Western and Northern states of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. In the prime minister’s home state of Gujarat, his party made history by winning the state for the seventh consecutive time and with more assembly seats than in previous victories. However, in an interesting turn of events, the BJP lost to the INC in Himachal Pradesh.

The mid-term election results in the US were mixed, with the Democrats retaining the Senate and losing the House to the Republicans by a thin majority. As I’ve written with Rob York for American Conservative, this mid-term result vis-a-vis China may not dampen but could actually strengthen bipartisan resolve in addressing the threat, provided partisan bickering does not take precedence. As a consequence of this resolve, the US-India relationship strengthens further.

Figure 1 Mallikarjun Kharge, the newly appointed president of the Indian National Congress party, after addressing a press conference in New Delhi on Oct. 19, 2022. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

India’s domestic politics has historically been unruffled by Chinese aggression at the border; however, this time, the Modi administration was pressed for answers by the opposition both at the Parliament and in the opposition Indian National Congress (INC) nationwide campaign called the Bharat Jodo Yatra (“Unite India March”). Newly elected opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge even derided the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP—the ruling party) as “talking like a lion outside the country, but acting like a mouse within.” These strong comments came against the backdrop of mixed results for state-level elections and China’s encroachments at the border in early December. As social media went abuzz with videos of Chinese and Indian troops clashing with clubs and sticks, New Delhi was lost for answers. Over the last few years, China’s aggression and its unilateral change of the LAC has forced India to build up forces at the border and increase infrastructure spending. Moreover, China’s unceasing violations of the LAC have sabotaged any talks for peace, with the Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar dismissing any such suggestions from the media.

The Indian government responded to Chinese aggression with tools of economic statecraft. It banned Chinese apps such as TikTok and businesses from operating in the country. The government instituted industrial policies targeting import substitution, particularly for industries reliant on Chinese inputs. India laid the foundation for decoupling from China. Interestingly, the Biden administration has followed suit by sanctioning CCP officials involved in concentration camps in Xinjiang and by unleashing economic sanctions and export controls to kneecap China’s semiconductor manufacturing ambitions. Through these measures, the divergences in addressing the China challenge narrowed in the last four months of 2022. The US-India defense partnership witnessed increased interactions between high-level military officials and exercises across all major branches of the military—army, navy, and air force.

Figure 2 Indian Chief of Air Staff Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari visited the US for Air Chiefs’ Conference & bilateral engagements. Photo: Twitter/@SandhuTaranjitS

Indian Chief of Air Staff Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari visited the US for the Air Chief’s Conference to discuss bilateral defense partnerships, including cooperation between air forces; and in the maritime sphere, Assistant Secretary of Defense Ely Ratner co-chaired a US-India 2+2 Intersessional & Maritime Security Dialogue; following that, the US and Indian Coast Guards conducted a bilateral joint exercise in Chennai to get acquainted with each other’s capabilities and strengths. And in mid-November, the joint navy exercise of the Quad nations, Malabar, started in Japan, hosting US, Indian, and Australian navies. The at-sea exercise involved naval ships, aircraft, and personnel, in the Philippine Sea. The armies took it to a whole different level, and may have poked the proverbial dragon.

Indian and US armies conducted a five-day joint exercise called Yudh Abhyas 100km (about 60 miles) from the Chinese border. The exercise aimed to enhance interoperability, share expertise in peacekeeping and disaster relief operations, and reinforce a joint commitment to the Indo-Pacific region. Furthermore, the US National Security Strategy released in October clearly outlines the preeminence of the Indo-Pacific theater for the US over the Middle East, Europe, and other known conflict zones.

While the “China” factor in these joint exercises remains largely implicit, Beijing could not have been oblivious. However, there was a concerted effort on the part of the Chinese administration to mend ties. At the G20 summit in Bali, US and Chinese officials expressed cautious optimism toward fixing ties, with both Biden and Xi Jinping pledging to repair the bilateral relationship at the summit.

The same cannot be said for India. Since Doklam, there has been very little room for peace talks with incessant clashes between the Indian and Chinese troops at the Galwan valley and the most recent at the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh taking all oxygen out of peace discussions. According to EAM Jaishankar, “India’s relations with China cannot be normal as long as Beijing tries to unilaterally change LAC and continues to build up forces along the border.”

China Warns

Increased security, defense, and economic ties between the US and India, left a bad taste with the CCP officials. Around the end of November, the Pentagon reported that Beijing warned the US not to interfere in India-China relations.

While China has tried to downplay the border skirmishes with India, both at home and abroad, India has elevated China to its number one security threat, surpassing its longtime nemesis, Pakistan. This has provided impetus for increasing cooperation with like-minded countries such as the US. The subsequent expansion in defense and security cooperation has irked China giving it the impression that the US has some role in preventing India from returning to the dialogue table.

If the first half of 2022 is any indication, New Delhi is signaling that it will not be influenced or bullied by any global power. The US and several other Western nations had several conversations through diplomatic channels and the Western media conducted a moral trial for India’s abstentions at the UN and its purchase of Russian oil. Yet, India’s position on the Russia-Ukraine conflict remained unchanged, and interestingly, India’s purchases of Russia crude grew multifold from February to September with Russia becoming India’s largest crude supplier.

The calculus behind such decisions has been explained through media from The Washington Post, to the Russian journal Kommersant, where Modi has regularly outlined his administration’s vision. He has continued to do so as 2023 chair of the G20, as well as state views on other topics in foreign affairs. Much like Franklin Roosevelt’s “fireside chats,” the Indian prime minister has used public media (radio and articles) to directly communicate with the populace, including through his radio program Mann Ki Baat (“thoughts in mind”). Similarly, since 2014, he has used op-eds in global media to make pitches to an international audience akin to other global leaders. Notably, in recent commentary he has clarified his country’s position on Russia-Ukraine, what India perceives as its primary challenge, and how it views ideological groupings. If Beijing (or any other power) wants an accurate read on the Indian position, such information is out in the open.

Beijing’s warning to the US can only be interpreted as the Quad amounting to more than the “sea foam” Foreign Minister Wang Yi once described it as. The Quad has died many deaths in popular media, with critics predicting its end with every change in government among its four member nations. However, all four have maintained policy consistency and only expanded cooperation, covering sectors from vaccines to supply chains, and critical technology.

Beijing blamed India for violating the 1993-1996 bilateral border agreements by holding joint military exercises with the US in Auli. The 1993 agreement was the first bilateral agreement between China and India to contain the phrase “Line of Actual Control.” It included several agreed-upon rules such as “neither side shall open fire, cause bio-degradation, use hazardous chemicals, conduct blast operations or hunt with guns or explosives within two kilometers from the line of actual control.” New Delhi, however, considers these agreements to have already been breached by the PLA’s moves into Galwan in May 2020 in a unilateral bid to impose the already rejected 1959 line in East Ladakh.

On a bilateral level, both the US and India have used their competition with China as a catalyst for targeted cooperation. Broadly speaking, India was once viewed in a poor light for its red tape and bureaucracy practiced by the “License Raj” and other rent-seeking unethical and corrupt practices. The recurring criticism of the Indian government was its inability to enact structural reforms and enable a laissez-faire approach to investments from foreign investors and businesses.

Fast forward to the last quarter of 2022, where even with the remnant of the license raj still in force, US competition with China has made it abundantly clear that national security takes precedence over economic productivity—in some sectors, if not all—to render difficult markets such as India an alternative to China.

Once a License Raj, now a Friendly Shore

Despite the Quad’s several economic initiatives, none explicitly positioned India as a destination for supply chain diversification until Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s characterization of the country as a friendly shore.

US-India trade, once limited to a few sectors, has expanded greatly. A testament to this development was the number of meetings among senior politicians and officials. Between September and December, there were more than 10 high-level meetings by Indian ministers with US senators, the commerce secretary, and others to discuss investment, trade, and related topics.

Figure 3 US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen meets with Indian Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi, Nov. 11, 2022. Photo: Twitter/@SecYellen

In her maiden trip to New Delhi, Yellen met Indian Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman to discuss shared economic interests. She also met with executives of major Indian companies and US companies operating in India. Yellen reaffirmed that increased economic integration with trusted partners mitigates geopolitical risk and strengthens supply chains. During her trip, Yellen also visited Microsoft India and spoke on deepening economic ties through friend-shoring. This complemented Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal’s participation in the September ministerial meeting of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) hosted by the US in Los Angeles. While India did not participate in the trade pillar of the four-pillar initiative, it did join in the other three.

Following the IPEF meetings, Minister Jaishankar met Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to discuss resilient supply chains, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, high-technology cooperation, and semiconductors. As the year came to an end, Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu and India’s G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant met Raimondo to discuss bilateral economic and commercial priorities and India’s G20 presidency. Finally, in late December, Ambassador Sandhu met Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) of the armed services and intelligence committees to discuss shared security challenges and increasing cooperation in the Indo-Pacific in new and emerging technology, cybersecurity, energy, and skill development. On the topic of skill development and people-to-people ties, Sandhu along with the ambassadors of Australia and Japan and other senior officials from the US administration attended the first Quad Fellowship event, welcoming STEM graduate students from Quad countries.

With STEM departments at US universities establishing partnerships with engineering schools in India and US technology manufacturing giants such as Apple and First Solar setting up manufacturing in India, India gains credibility as a destination for diversifying supply chains out of China and into India and as a source of human capital.

For India, the US offers capital and advanced technologies both in the military and the commercial sphere. For the US, India’s strategic autonomy forbids any type of military aid dependency as it has become accustomed to in Europe and East Asia. From a commercial standpoint, the large market size coupled with the demographic dividend makes it an ideal candidate for friend-shoring, not excluding other macroeconomic fundamentals. The two nations will collaborate in sectors that complement their economies and assist in their competition with China. For example, the US ratified the International Solar Alliance Agreement, joining the club of nations working toward increasing solar energy adoption throughout the world. This comes as both US and India try to reduce their dependence on China for solar panels.

Yet even as India capitalizes on the economic and technological opportunities advanced economies such as the US present, it continues to be distracted by the needs of its poorest to totally renounce its partnerships with its economic peers.

Conclusion: The Time has Come—for What?

In 2022, India chaired the UNSC and utilized the opportunity to position itself as a responsible actor on the world stage and re-enforced the need for the world to speak in one voice on terrorism and other security challenges. In 2023, India will be chairing the G20, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and the Wassenaar Arrangement as well as hosting IPEF meetings.

In November 2022, Indonesian President Joko Widodo handed the gavel to Modi in a symbolic gesture at the Bali G20 meeting. In late November and early December, the Indian government made clearer its vision for the G20. The overarching message is that India will work to bring nations together to address shared concerns; it has championed issues affecting the Global South the most, such as inflationary price shocks, food security, and energy security—both exacerbated by climate change and the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Writing for Kommersant, Modi opined that “the priorities of our G20 presidency will be shaped in consultation not only with our G20 partners, but also with our ‘fellow travelers” from the Global South, whose voices usually go unheard.”

Figure 4 President Biden speaks with Prime Minister Modi at the G20 Summit opening session in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia. Photo: Prasetyo Utomo/G20 Media Center/Handout via Reuters

By evoking slogans such as “One Earth, One Family, One Future,” and characterizing the “confrontation and competition between ideas, ideologies and personalities as zero-sum” the Indian prime minister has taken a jab at the US, in particular, the Biden administration’s division of the world into ideological groupings and fended off the West’s goal of bringing India into its ideological camp.

It is becoming clear that India is seeking to champion causes of the Global South while pursuing the fourth industrial revolution through partnerships with advanced Western economies.

Thus, it finds itself in the same camp as Russia, China, and other “developing” nations in groupings such as the BRICS and SCO while simultaneously participating in Quad and the IPEF. However, in a sign of increasing understanding of India’s position vis-à-vis Russia, the White House praised New Delhi for getting Ukraine mentioned in the joint G20 Statement. After all, Washington may find some purpose in India’s relationship with Russia.

In 2022, the agenda of the BRICS markedly expanded addressing food and energy security and even included overzealous proposals such as suggesting alternative currencies to the US dollar to a trade bloc for the BRICS countries.

Several countries from the Global South have applied to become part of the group, making it inexpedient for India to stay out. As New Delhi straddles these poles, its partnership may expand but it will be limited by India’s dual identity of developing country and democracy.

Expanded cooperation, however, could hit roadblocks in 2023 due to India’s strategic autonomy. As mentioned in earlier CC chapters, India is pursued by various countries. As a result, India’s choices will be shaped by its nonalignment policy legacy or what New Delhi likes to call its multi-alignment policy. In this environment, the US-India partnership will find itself limited by India’s realpolitik. The partnership will expand only as long as New Delhi finds economic benefit. While technological and software trade underpin the US-India trade partnership, energy, manufacturing, and defense will have to be part of the mix to expand the economic partnership.

With the IPEF meetings scheduled for February, India’s role in the 12-country initiative will become clearer and as a result, so will its place in the Indo-Pacific trade architecture. And while India’s chairmanship of the Wassenaar Arrangement will not be as significant as its leadership of the G20, given the recent spurt in investments in the defense and space sectors, India could play an important role in democratizing access to critical dual-use technologies.

Nikkei Asia’s Editor-in-Chief Shigesaburo Okumura in his New Year letter to readers, said, “In 2023 India will mark its rise by showing leadership.” It has also become evident that history is not linear. The US, the country that sided with China and Pakistan against India in 1971, now engages in military exercises with India; and India, once sanctioned by most Western nations for nuclear tests in 1998, was now chairing the Wassenaar Arrangement.

The US-India partnership will continue to expand in complementary spheres and become aware of its limitations. Back in 2017 Council on Foreign Relations South Asia fellow Alyssa Ayres titled her book on India’s role in the world, Our Time has Come. That is an appropriate characterization of the current US-India partnership. Questions of “For what?” or “For an alliance?” remain, however.

Jaishankar, speaking to the Austrian television network ORF a day after New Year’s, addressed questions surrounding India’s alliances. When asked if he considered India to be an ally of Russia, he responded, “we are an independent country, we do not define/perceive ourselves in alliance terms; that is very much a Western terminology, it is not a term we use.” Washington should take a hint and in 2023, work toward making the most out of the “friends with benefits” global strategic partnership the two have created.

Chronology of US - India Relations

September — December 2022

Sept. 2, 2022: US congratulates India for commissioning its first indigenously build aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, reaffirming continued collaboration for a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Sept. 5, 2022: Assistant Secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu visits India to meet senior officials, business leaders, and women entrepreneurs.

Sept. 5, 2022: US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Ely Ratner visits India and Vietnam to deepen collaboration and advance a shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Sept. 6, 2022: Assistant Secretary Lu meets Senior Quad Officials to discuss advancing cooperation to realize a shared vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific that is inclusive and resilient.

Sept. 7, 2022: Assistant Secretary Lu meets Indian counterparts for the 2+2 Intersessional to discuss advancing cooperation on diplomatic and security priorities. They review preparations for the next bilateral 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue. Lu also meets the US-India Business Council to discuss the contribution of US trade and investment to India’s economy and opportunities for growth and expansion in bilateral business.

Sept. 8, 2022: US Deputy Chief of Mission Patricia A. Lacina launches Trees Outside Forests in India, to address the climate crisis through carbon sequestration and climate-resilient agriculture.

Sept. 8, 2022: Assistant Secretary Lu and Assistant Secretary Ratner meet Foreign Secretary of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs Vinay Kwatra to discuss deepening and strengthening the bilateral partnership at the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations. Lu also meets Additional Secretary of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs Vani Rao to discuss the bilateral strategic relationship and opportunities to strengthen the partnership.

Sept. 8, 2022: Assistant Secretary Ratner co-chairs a US-India 2+2 Intersessional & Maritime Security Dialogue.

Sept. 8, 2022: Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal meets US Trade Representative Ambassador Tai in Los Angeles and recommits to a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific ahead of the ministerial meeting of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF).

Sept. 9, 2022: Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal participates in the US-led IPEF ministerial meeting. He also meets US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on the margins of the meeting to discuss deepening bilateral trade and investment ties to build resilient global supply chains.

Sept. 9, 2022: US International Development Finance Corporation announces $37.5 million in investments for Indian businesses working in financial services, healthcare, agriculture, and climate.

Sept. 12, 2022: Indian Ambassador to the US Sandhu meets US Rep. Gregory Meeks to discuss the bilateral partnership.

Sept. 13, 2022: Ambassador Sandhu meets Chairman of the Subcommittee on South and Central Asia Sen. Chris Murphy to discuss opportunities for partnership. He also meets Senator and co-Chair of the Senate India Caucus John Cornyn.

Sept. 14, 2022: US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin calls Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh to discuss bilateral defense cooperation ahead of the 2+2 Ministerial meeting next spring.

Sept. 15, 2022: Indian Chief of Air Staff Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari visits the US for Air Chief’s Conference to discuss bilateral defense partnerships.

Sept. 16, 2022: US Deputy Chief of Mission Patricia A. Lacina deposits the treaty for US’ continued commitment to the India-led International Solar Alliance, which deploys solar energy technology to increase energy access and security. This means that the US ratifies the International Solar Alliance Agreement.

Sept. 19, 2022: US and India Coast Guards conduct bilateral joint exercise in Chennai to acquaint each other’s capabilities and strengths in terms of various evolutions at sea.

Sept. 21, 2022: Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food and Public Distribution and Textiles participates in a discussion on WTO dispute settlement reform convened by US Trade Representative Ambassador Tai on the sidelines of the G20 Ministerial Meeting in Bali, Indonesia. They exchange views on ways to strengthen the WTO dispute settlement mechanism to make it more accessible and efficient.

Sept. 21, 2022: US Coast Guard Cutter Midgett visits Chennai during Western Pacific Patrol 2022 in another international port call with Indian Coast Guard partners working to advance capabilities and interoperability.

Sept. 21, 2022: Indian Union Minister of State Science and Technology, Earth Sciences, Atomic Energy and Space hosts event with participants from the US administration, Congress, think tanks, academia, and industry to discuss the bilateral partnership in science and technology and space.

Sept. 26, 2022: Defense Secretary Austin reaffirms continued efforts to strengthen bilateral defense ties with India. He meets Minister Jaishankar to discuss the Ukraine conflict, Indo-Pacific development, maritime challenges, and regional issues in light of the contemporary India-US defense partnership.

Sept. 26, 2022: Minister Jaishankar meets Commerce Secretary Raimondo to discuss resilient supply chains, IPEF, high technology cooperation, semiconductors and business promotion.

Sept. 27, 2022: Secretary Blinken meets Indian External Affairs Minister Jaishankar to discuss continued bilateral collaboration on global health challenges, climate change and clean energy, food security, and the implications of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Jaishankar also meets Reps. Ami Bera and Jerry McNerney, as well as Sens. Chris Coons, Mark Varner, and Jon Ossoff. He holds a bilateral meeting with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan to discuss the Ukraine conflict, the Indo-Pacific, South Asia, the Gulf, and global economic volatility.

Sept. 28, 2022: Minister Jaishankar meets US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to discuss furthering the bilateral strategic partnership.

Oct. 4, 2022: Assistant Commissioner for the US Customs and Border Protection’s Office of International Affairs Debbie Seguin visits India and meets counterparts in the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigation and other federal colleagues to discuss advancing global supply chain security interests with India.

Oct. 4, 2022: Ambassador Sandhu meets the Governor of Massachusetts Charlie Baker to discuss opportunities for collaboration in energy, education, life sciences, and technology.

Oct. 6, 2022: US Congressional Staffers Delegation visits Indian aircraft career INS Vikrant.

Oct. 7, 2022: US Secretary of the Department of Energy Jennifer Granholm meets Indian Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri to launch the Strategic Clean Energy Partnership Ministerial Meeting. They reaffirm bilateral cooperation to ensure energy security, advance innovation, and diversify clean energy supplies and discuss five pillars of the bilateral clean energy partnership: power and energy efficiency, responsible oil and gas, sustainable growth, emerging fuels, and energy transition.

Oct. 7, 2022: Minister Hardeep Singh Puri meets Deputy Secretary of the US Treasury Wally Adeyemo in Washington DC.

Oct. 7, 2022: US International Development Finance Corporation announces a series of loans to organizations in India to advance long-term economic growth, global health, food security, technology in communications, gender equity, clean energy and climate.

Oct. 11, 2022: Indian’s oil and gas entities, oilfield service providers, and sector leaders sign four MoUs as part of the US-India strategic clean energy partnership.

Oct. 11, 2022: Ambassador Sandhu addresses joint working group meeting of Indo-US Vaccine Action Programme to underline how bilateral healthcare ties are crucial in the pandemic and post-pandemic environments. He also meets Chief Medical Adviser to President Biden and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Oct. 11, 2022: US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen meets Indian Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman to discuss deepening bilateral economic bonds, avoiding supply chain disruptions, and addressing global shocks. She announces that she will travel to India in November to participate in the annual US-India Economic and Financial Partnership.

Oct. 12, 2022: Deputy Assistant Secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Afreen Akhter visits India to strengthen the bilateral partnership on critical emerging technology and regional integration for a more resilient Indo-Pacific.

Oct. 13, 2022: Indo-US Vaccine Action Program celebrates its 35th anniversary as a model of equal partnership in public health and support for the development of safe and effective vaccines.

Oct. 14, 2022: At Media Rumble 2022, US Embassy spokesperson Christopher Elms states that India and the US are driving the future towards clean energies and climate change.

Oct. 17, 2022: Deputy Assistant Secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Nancy Jackson visits India and reiterates the US’ unwavering commitment to Ukraine and the importance of the bilateral partnership to foster a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Oct. 17, 2022: US Consul General to Mumbai Mike Hankey participates in a roundtable at the Defense Expo, discussing the steadfast growth of bilateral defense trade. He is joined by Amcham India, the US-India Business Council, and the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum.

Oct. 17, 2022: US Department of State Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues joins US and Indian policy experts at the Women’s Empowerment Dialogue in New Delhi.

Oct. 18, 2022: US Consul General to Mumbai Mike Hankey attends the Defense Expo in Gujarat to see the showcase of cutting-edge defense technology by US companies. He meets with Chief Minister of Gujarat Bhupendra Patel to discuss bilateral defense cooperation and co-production.

Oct. 18, 2022: At a signing ceremony, CEO of US International Development Finance Corporation Scott Nathan signs a commitment letter for a $35 million loan to Credit Access Grameen and a $10 million loan guarantee to Punjab Renewable Energy Systems Private Limited. He reaffirms the US’ commitment to promoting women’s economic empowerment and supporting India’s growing energy needs.

Oct. 19, 2022: Director of Strategic Planning and Policy of the US Indo-Pacific Command Maj. Gen. Chris Phillips meets Chief of Staff of India’s Eastern Naval Command Vice Adm. Sanjay Vatsayan.

Oct. 19, 2022: USAID India and the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum sign aan MOU to extend and expand collaboration in India on priority areas such as climate change, health, inclusive development and more.

Oct. 19, 2022: CEO of US International Development Finance Corporation Scott Nathan announces $9.9 million in financing to Eye-Q to expand its operations of high-quality and affordable eye care services in underserved areas in India. He also participates in a series of meetings in Mumbai with leaders from the financial, power, infrastructure, and other sectors.

Oct. 21, 2022: Indian-American US Air Force Col. Biren Oberoi visits Vizag for the Tiger Triumph humanitarian assistance exercise between the US and Indian militaries.

Oct. 24, 2022: US President Joe Biden marks Diwali through a celebration at the White House.

Oct. 26, 2022: Secretary Blinken marks end of Diwali with a special event at the State Department.

Oct. 28, 2022: Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the US Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy Jennifer Bachus participates in the US-India Open RAN Policy Roadshow and a quad Open RAN Forum in New Delhi with Quad partners Australia, India, and Japan, as well as telecommunications companies to discuss promoting the adoption of Open Radio Access Networks.

Oct. 29, 2022: Secretary Blinken speaks to Minister Jaishankar about Russia’s war in Ukraine, counterterrorism, and regional issues.

Nov. 2, 2022: Ambassador Sandhu meets National Cyber Security Coordinator Lieutenant General Rajesh Pant and other officials participating in the Counter-Ransomware Initiative Summit hosted by the White House.

Nov. 3, 2022: Ambassador Sandhu and India’s G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant meet Secretary of Commerce Raimondo to discuss bilateral economic and commercial priorities and India’s G20 presidency.

Nov. 5, 2022: USAID India’s Acting Mission Director Karen Klimowski and the Chief Minister of Haryana, India, launchthe Trees Outside Forests in India program to mitigate climate change, improve the resilience of farming systems, and increase the income of farmers in Haryana.

Nov. 6, 2022: US Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday meets Indian Chief of the Naval Staff Adm. R. Hari Kumar onboard JS Izumo during the International Fleet Review 2022. They discuss maritime security, sharing capabilities, and the strategic importance of the Indian Ocean.

Nov. 7, 2022: US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman meets Indian Foreign Secretary Ambassador Vinay Mohan Kwatra to discuss bilateral relations and advance security and regional cooperation in the Indo-Pacific and globally.

Nov. 8, 2022: US Trade Representative Katherine Tai meets virtually with Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs and Food and Public Distribution and Textiles Piyush Goyal. They discuss shared priorities and ways to grow the bilateral trade and investment partnership.

Nov. 8, 2022: Joint navy exercise Malabar begins in Japan, hosting US, Indian, and Australian navies. The exercises involve naval ships, aircraft, and personnel, and take place in the Philippine Sea.

Nov. 9, 2022: Secretary of Commerce Raimondo and Minister Goyal launch the US-India CEO Forum to foster private sector trade ties.

Nov. 9, 2022: India’s Department of Atomic Energy hosts US National Nuclear Security Administration at the Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership in New Delhi to discuss the bilateral partnership on global security and addressing threats of nuclear terrorism through education, training, and international cooperation.

Nov. 9, 2022: Ambassador Sandhu joins the India-US CEO Forum under the leadership of Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal, Secretary of Commerce Raimondo, and other CEOs.

Nov. 11, 2022: Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen meets Indian Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman to discuss shared economic interests, cooperation to face global headwinds, and common priorities. They meet with executives of major Indian companies and US companies operating in India. Secretary Yellen reaffirms that increased economic integration with trusted partners mitigates geopolitical risk and strengthens supply chains. Yellen also visits Microsoft India and speaks on deepening economic ties through friend-shoring.

Nov. 13, 2022: Secretary Blinken meets Minister Jaishankar on the margins of the ASEAN summit in Phnom Penh. They discuss efforts to expand the bilateral partnership and mitigate the effects of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Secretary Blinken also expresses support for India’s G20 presidency.

Nov. 13, 2022: Vice President of India Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar meets President Biden on the sidelines of the 17th East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Nov. 15, 2022: US President Biden meets Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indonesian President Joko Widodo to reaffirm their collective commitment to the G20 as the premier forum for global economic cooperation.

Nov. 17, 2022: US Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro meets Indian Defense Secretary Shri Giridhar Aramane to discuss bilateral strategic cooperation and the defense partnership.

Nov. 17, 2022: White House Director of National Drug Control Policy Rahul Gupta meets the Director-General of the Narcotics Bureau of India Satya Narayan Pradhan. They discuss emerging trends in drug trafficking and use, as well as opportunities for continued collaboration on holistic approaches to counternarcotics.

Nov. 17, 2022: White House Director of National Drug Control Policy Rahul Gupta meets Dr. Virendra Kumar, India’s Union Cabinet Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment. They discuss the innovative drug demand reduction work in India and the US, as well as shared priorities of prevention, treatment, and recovery services.

Nov. 18, 2022: US Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro lays a wreath at the National War Memorial in New Delhi.

Nov. 21, 2022: US Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro meets Vice Adm. of India’s Southern Naval Command MA Hampiholi. They tour the aircraft carrier INS Vikrant and discuss the enhancement of bilateral cooperation, including on maritime issues.

Nov. 21, 2022: India’s G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant meets US G20 Sherpa and Deputy National Security Adviser Mike Pyle. They discuss bilateral partnerships in light of the G20 India presidency.

Nov. 21, 2022: US Consulate in Kolkata marks 230 years of diplomatic relations between the US and Kolkata.

Nov. 22, 2022: Secretary of Defense Austin meets Defense Minister of India Rajnath Singh at the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus) in Cambodia, agreeing to enhance defense cooperation to advance a shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Nov. 24, 2022: USAID’s Deputy Assistant Administrator for Asia Änjali Kaur meets Additional Secretary of the G20 Ambassador Abhay Thakur of India’s Ministry of External Affairs to discuss the bilateral development partnership and commitments to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

Nov. 25, 2022: USAID’s Deputy Assistant Administrator for Asia Änjali Kaur meets Additional Secretary Vani Rao of India’s Ministry of External Affairs to discuss ways to deepen bilateral cooperation and counter the climate crisis, grow the prosperity of both peoples, and uphold a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

Nov. 26, 2022: Secretary Blinken commemorates 14th anniversary of Mumbai terrorist attacks.

Nov. 30, 2022: India assumes its G20 presidency and commits to an inclusive, ambitious, action-oriented, and decisive agenda to further global good. US President Biden expresses support for India’s G20 presidency.

Nov. 30, 2022: Minister Jaishankar meets Chargé d’Affaires of the US Mission in New Delhi Ambassador A. Elizabeth Jones to discuss ongoing progress in bilateral cooperation.

Dec. 1, 2022: US Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West travels to India, Japan, and the UAE to engage on critical collaboration with respect to continued humanitarian support and defending education and human rights for girls and women in Afghanistan.

Dec. 2, 2022: US and Indian Armies conclude the 18th edition of joint military exercise Yudh Abhyuas and reinforce commitment to the Indo-Pacific region, improved interoperability, and the bilateral defense partnership. They set new standards for interoperability in multidimensional humanitarian assistance, peacekeeping, and disaster relief operations.

Dec. 6, 2022: Chargé d’Affaires of the US Mission in New Delhi Ambassador A. Elizabeth Jones and US Consul General to Mumbai Mike Hankey participate in a meeting organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in India to reaffirm the US’ commitment to bilateral business ties and free and fair trade in the Indo-Pacific.

Dec. 8, 2022: On the sidelines of his visit to Coxsbazar for Bangladesh Navy IFR-22, Indian Vice Adm. Biswajit Dasgupta of the Eastern Naval Command meets Adm. Samuel J. Paparo, Commander of the US Pacific Fleet. They discuss navy cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, the increasing complexity of Malabar naval exercises, and progress in other fields of cooperation.

Dec. 10, 2022: Ambassador Sandhu meets several students from the inaugural Quad Fellows cohort, including students from India pursuing research in sustainability and environment.

Dec. 14, 2022: Chargé d’Affaires of the US Mission in New Delhi Ambassador A. Elizabeth Jones visits US solar technology company First Solar’s manufacturing facility in Tamil Nadu, which will help to bring India closer to its climate goals and strengthen global solar panel supply chains with US International Development Finance Corporation financing.

Dec. 15, 2022: Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Elizabeth Horst visits India and meets Indian partners to strengthen bilateral relations and enhance people-to-people ties.

Dec. 16, 2022: At their first Annual Regulatory Forum, experts from the India Office of the US Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Global Policy and Strategy and the Drug Control Department of the Government of Karnataka meet to discuss operations and share knowledge on medical product inspection practices.

Dec. 20, 2022: Fifth edition of the joint US-India navy special forces exercise Sangam-22 takes place from Dec. 1-20 in Goa.

Dec. 21, 2022: Chargé d’Affaires of the US Mission in New Delhi Ambassador A. Elizabeth Jones meets key business leaders in Kolkata to discuss ways to strengthen and expand bilateral economic relations and regional connectivity in India’s East and Northeast regions.

Dec. 22, 2022: US and Indian Navies conclude an exchange at INS Hansa, whereby subject matter experts exchanged defense expertise.