As Joe Biden takes charge of the U.S. administration, all the eyes of the world are stuck at Biden’s actions on how he tackles China and mends the strained relations between the two nations. The tensions between the two nations have been a cause of concern for the whole world. The two countries have several issues acting as points of contention and these issues are aggravating the strain in the relation of the two nations further. Their tensions are halting many endeavors of the world community to find a solution to the burning global problems. The two countries are competing to be a global power and thus it cannot be considered anything other than a duel for global dominance. Hence, it becomes important to understand the implications of these strained relations in the short and long run and how India needs to play out in the given situation.
India and the US have done away with one more layer of hesitations of history when they recently concluded the foundational agreements. The recent signing of the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement introduces another era of cooperation and mutual trust between what experts call the natural partnership. In this backdrop, it is important to understand all the four foundational agreements and their significance in the current times.
The World is set to witness another cold war in the 21st century. The 5G technology and race to dominate it has been intensified with the US-led West and China engaging in a multilayered competition. The US President has called for international blacklisting of Huawei which is right now leading the 5G tech research and implementation. Banning of Chinese Apps on the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic is the next step in line with the ensued cold war.
Despite strong opposition from business groups, the US President, in June, suspended the entry of certain foreign workers on temporary work visas into the USA. It is perceived as only the latest effort by the US administration to bar the entry of immigrants into the country.
Almost 12,000 US troops are to be pulled out from Germany by the Trump Administration, adding to the tensions within the NATO. This is in response to Berlin’s non-compliance to increased defence spending. This decision resulted in widespread criticism as it is undermining a strong symbol of Washington’s commitment to its European allies, creating a rift among the NATO members and emboldening Russia and China, the adversaries of the US, to increase their presence in Europe.
Due to its avoidance of accountability in general, Trump Administration has long been embroiled by the worsened relationship with international organisations like the UNHRC, WHO and now with the International Criminal Court. The US government has blocked assets and imposed travel restrictions against ICC employees who are directly involved in the investigation of war crimes in Afghanistan by the US forces. Though this is not the first time the US opposed ICC’s functioning and powers, its impact is huge as comes at a time when the US is highly unpopular due to its racial tensions and ‘America First’ policy. The recent executive order by the Trump Administration essentially stalls the global fight against impunity for the most serious international crimes, giving scope for other countries to also follow suit.
The USA-Russia relations received another blow on May 21, 2020, when US President Donald Trump announced that the US will be pulling out of the Open Skies Treaty (OST), a major arms control measure that aided transparency and confidence-building among 34 countries, especially between the US and Russia. The pulling out from OST by US was next in line after withdrawal from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Force (INF) treaty last year by the US. Though it seems to be caused by increasing distrust between the two countries on the face of it, it is in line with the transactional approach of diplomacy by President Trump.
Quad Plus, which includes Quad countries along with South Korea, New Zealand and Vietnam, initiated weekly video conferences since March 20 to discuss the common issues pertaining to COVID-19 pandemic. These discussions have brought Quad back into focus as one of the important groupings in the Indo-Pacific. While the expansion of the alliance to ensure international cooperation to deal with this crisis a step in the right direction, the ultimate objective of countering China’s aggression has been put on the backburner though Beijing has increased its hostility in the South China Sea and Sino-Indian borders.
After 18 months of talks and nearly two decades of war, the Taliban and the US have signed an agreement that paves the way for peace in Afghanistan and the departure of foreign troops from the country.
This agreement was signed on February 29, 2020, in Doha, Qatar.
This comprehensive peace agreement consists of four parts.