每日英語跟讀 Ep.978: In Wake of Recent India-China Conflict,U.S. Sees Opportunity
Weeks after India and China engaged in their deadliest border clash in decades, the sight of an American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier entering the Bay of Bengal drew attention across the region.
The carrier, the USS Nimitz, and its strike group deployed to the area in mid-July to conduct an exercise with the Indian Navy in pursuit of a “free and open Indo-Pacific,” according to a statement by the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet, whose headquarters are in Japan. But as tensions soar between India and China, two nuclear-armed neighbors, the joint operation took on a greater significance.
“It was symbolic,” said Tanvi Madan, the director of the India Project at the Brookings Institution. “It’s also signaling to China and others that the U.S. is standing by India.”
As the rivalry between India and China intensifies, the United States and India have taken their shared anger toward Beijing and forged stronger diplomatic and military ties that could alter the balance of power in the region.
“Both the U.S. and India have recognized the importance of the other,” said Nisha Biswal, an assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs during the Obama administration. “It’s not a surprise that the Indians are looking for like-minded strategic and security partners.”
But some worry that the Trump administration is turning a blind eye to India’s rights abuses against Muslims under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, prioritizing military and geopolitical alliances over all else.
“They are warming relations under the same authoritarian banner,” said Wasim Dar, an activist in the disputed territory of Kashmir. “They’re prioritizing military, or hegemony, over any kind of human rights or political freedom.”
India and China have engaged in increasing aggression in recent months.
“Nobody’s backing down. They’re going to go through the winter like this,” said Vikram Singh, senior adviser to the Asia program at the U.S. Institute of Peace. “Now you’ve got a situation where there’s a whole bunch more flash points at a tactical level.”
Human rights experts say it is troubling that the United States talks so strongly about human rights abuses in China but is willing to engage in deeper diplomatic and strategic ties with India, where similar situations are occurring.
“It’s basically hypocrisy,” Dar said.
Source article: https://paper.udn.com/udnpaper/POH0067/358363/web/