06/08/2016, 13.31
INDIA - UNITED STATES
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Modi in the US: Increasingly strong friendship with Obama causes discontent in China and Pakistan

The heads of state of India and the US have signed a broad package of agreements. Cooperation on economy, climate and energy, maritime safety and counter-terrorism. Obama has supported India's candidature in the group of nuclear powers that control atomic energy. China and Pakistan react with fury. Defenders of minorities: " Modi’s silence on the violence against Christians is criminal."

 

New Delhi (AsiaNews) - The fight against terrorism, cooperation in defense, climate, energy, trade, economy, space and maritime security; but also the US support of India's entry into the group of powers monitoring nuclear technology and material: These are the most significant aspects of the agreement signed yesterday between Barack Obama and Narendra Modi, at the end of a three-day visit by the Indian Prime Minister to the United States.

The historic agreement was hailed as one of the most important international successes for India, as it attempts to make its weight felt among the great powers, and the United States, which aims to counterbalance Chinese hegemony.

However, the visit has raised a storm of protest among the defenders of minority rights, who denounce Mod’s "criminal" silence with regards violence perpetrated by members of his party against Christians in India. The ever increasing friendship between the two countries has also generated resentment in China and Pakistan, India’s economic and political opponents.

This morning an editorial published in, China's State newspaper, the Global Times thundered: "India knows that its great vision of economic expansion [] cannot be achieved by bashing or containing China." And just before the same editorial stated: "Washington still hopes to use India as its right arm to counterbalance China's growth. But Washington's calculations do not work. "

The statements are indicative of the political tensions caused by the accord. The agreements signed yesterday - a package of 50 in all - mark a key step in a reorganization of the global geopolitical balance. It was the fourth face to face meeting between the two heads of state, increasingly aligned in aims and objectives.

The two leaders have formed a valuable partnership in the field of clean and renewable energy, stressing the importance of the agreement on climate change signed in Paris last year. The United States then decided to finance the construction of six nuclear reactors on Indian soil, to develop the production of energy for civilian purposes, and supported the International Solar Alliance proposed recently by Modi.

The nuclear deal is the one that sparked most criticism. Obama has given his consent to the Indian candidature for entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group in the plenary to be held later this month. The group consists of 48 countries with nuclear capability, and has the aim of curbing the proliferation of weapons technology and exchanging information. Founded in 1974 in response to the first Indian nuclear test, the assembly is now made up of countries - such as China - which are firmly opposed to the candidacy of Delhi.

The announcement of US support has also created concerns in neighboring Pakistan, a direct competitor of the Indian nuclear program. Today the Dawn, a leading Pakistani newspaper, quotes an article in the New York Times and the headline: "India does not deserve to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group".

A clear attempt to undermine the Chinese expansion ambitions in the South China Sea is present in the formula that considers India and the US "priority partners in the Asia-Pacific region." To this end, the two countries have established forms of cooperation in the maritime field, navigation and exploitation of marine resources.

On the sidelines of the package of agreements signed, some activists have asked the American president to raise the issue of the precarious living conditions of Indian workers and several episodes of exploitation that make India the country with the largest number of slaves in the world.

Finally, the Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations (Fiacona) organized a prayer vigil in front of Congress to denounce Modi’s silence on atrocities committed by Hindu nationalists in his party BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) against religious minorities, and especially against Christians, increasingly persecuted and victims of violence.

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