A group of top American Senators who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week said they made a case to him that this is a battle between autocracy and democracy, and emphasised that democracies must unite in increasing their help to Ukraine.
“When we were in India, we got a chance to speak to leaders. We also made the case that this was a battle between autocracy and democracy. When we spoke to Prime Minister Modi, we made that case,” Senator Charles Schumer, who is the Senate Majority Leader, told a news conference here.
Other members of the Congressional delegation who accompanied him to India are Senators Ron Wyden, Jack Reed, Maria Cantwell, Amy Klobuchar, Mark Warner, Gary Peters, Catherine Cortez-Masto, and Peter Welch. All are from the ruling Democratic Party.
Schumer said during his meeting with the Indian leader, the Senators were more specific. “If an autocracy like Russia prevails then an autocracy like China feels a little bit taller, a little bit more robust, a little bit more ready to take on the world. And it’s not just Taiwan. China and India have been disputing the line of control over Kashmir for years. There was action recently,” he said.
“The battle in Ukraine will have an impact there, too. What we stressed with India was the United States should be cooperating, and coordinating, along with other Pacific allies like Japan, Australia, and the United States. India should start thinking about cooperative development and co-production of systems, so we can expand our defence industrial base,” Schumer told reporters during a media interaction following a close policy luncheon of the Democratic Senators.
Giving an insight into his India trip, the Senator from New York said that the United States and the West must continue to deepen its relationship with India “if we want to outcompete the Chinese Communist Party in this century”.
“India is the perfect counterweight to China, and when joined with the West, we can really outcompete the Chinese. The second thing we emphasised — and Jack Reed took one of the leads on this — Democracies must unite in increasing their help to Ukraine,” he said.
“Prime Minister Modi got the message during our meeting with him in India. We made clear that the two leading democracies of the world — the world’s oldest democracy (and) the world’s largest democracy — should be a powerful check against President Xi in this century,” Schumer said.
“We cannot afford to lose the lead. President Xi wants to outcompete America, not just on defence but economically, geopolitically, technologically, in terms of our fundamental values and beyond. The second point we made in each meeting was the importance of standing shoulder to shoulder with the people of Ukraine,” he told reporters.
Earlier in the day, Schumer went on the Senate floor for the second time in two days to brief them about the India trip and three other countries including Germany and Israel.
“The US should deepen our relationship with India if we want to outcompete the Chinese Communist Party in this century. Democracies must unite in increasing aid to Ukraine,” he said.
“That doesn’t mean just cooperating with India on defence and security, though that is essential. It means we must take an all-out, all-of-the-above approach because that’s precisely what the CCP is doing,” he said.
“Just as the transatlantic partnership matters immensely, so too will our partnership with India,’ he asserted.
“The US and India must therefore keep working to strengthen our economic ties, expand our trade, and make it easier to recruit talented workers from abroad to work in our country,” Schumer said.