US President-elect Joe Biden on Monday (November 23) appointed Antony Blinken as new US Secretary of State and Jake Sullivan as National Security Advisor.
The 58-year-old Blinken served as Deputy Secretary of State under President Barack Obama, while 43-year-old Blinken served as the Head of Policy Planning at the State Department under Hillary Clinton.
A look through Blinken’s recent statements about India shows that his appointment as US Secretary of State is a welcome news for India and a bad news for Pakistan.
On July 9, Blinken addresses a gathering at the Hudson Institute, Washington DC and said. “Strengthening and deepening the relationship with India is going to be a very high priority. It’s usually important to the future of the Indo-Pacific and the kind of order that we all want; it’s fair, stable, and hopefully increasingly democratic and it’s vital to being able to tackle some of these big global challenges,” he said.
“By the way, I think this has been over Republican and Democratic administrations’ success story, going back to the Clinton administration, the Bush administration and then the Obama-Biden administration,” he said.
Talking about Biden's contribution, Blinke had said, “During the Bush administration, then Senator Biden partnered with that administration to help get the peaceful nuclear cooperation agreement, the 123 agreement through the United States Senate, usually important to solidifying our relationship,” Blinken said.
Blinken also mentioned how during Obama administration, the US made India a “major defence partner”. “In our own administration, during the Obama-Biden administration, there was concrete progress across a whole series of initiatives and efforts under both Prime Minister Singh and then under Prime Minister Modi. There was this defence technology and trade initiative. The idea there was to kind of strengthen India’s defence industrial base and that then paved the way for American and Indian companies to work together to produce important technology. We made India a so-called major defence partner,” Blinken said.
On August 15, Blinken participated in a panel discussion on Indo-US ties and raised the issue of UN reforms. “In a Biden administration, we would be an advocate for India to play a leading role in international institutions and that includes helping India get a seat on a United Nations Security Council,” he said.
Talking about China's aggressive policy, Blinken said, “We have a common challenge which has to deal with an increasingly assertive China across the board, including its aggression toward India at the Line of Actual Control but also using its economic might to coerce others and reap unfair advantage. I think you’d see Joe Biden as president investing in ourselves, renewing our democracy, working with our close partners like India, asserting our values and engaging China from a position of strength. India has to be a key partner in that effort."
Blinken also talked about the issue of cross-border terrorism and said, “We would work together to strengthen India’s defence and also I might add its capabilities as a counterterrorism partner. On the question of terrorism, specifically, we have no tolerance for terrorism, in South Asia or anywhere else: cross-border or otherwise."