Obama backs India UNSC seat to counter China: US media

By Arun Kumar, IANS,

Washington: US President Barack Obama’s announcement of support for India’s permanent membership in the UN Security Council (UNSC) is seen by large sections of the US media as an attempt to counter China.

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The influential New York Times said that by endorsing India for a permanent seat Obama had “signalled the United States’ intention to create a deeper partnership of the world’s two largest democracies that would expand commercial ties and check the influence of an increasingly assertive China”.

The Washington Post agreed, saying it was “a powerful endorsement of India’s growing economic power and global aspirations, but one likely to anger China and Pakistan”.

The Christian Science Monitor said Obama “wowed the Indian Parliament with a strong US endorsement of India’s bid to become a permanent member” of the UNSC.

But “Obama’s flattering justification for India to join one of the world’s most exclusive and powerful clubs does not mean the booming South Asian democracy should expect to see its name engraved on a Security Council seat in New York any time soon”, it said.

“Getting from consensus to actual reform is not going to be easy, for both practical and political reasons,” it said, citing Michael Doyle, a former UN official now specialising in international relations at Columbia University in New York.

The Los Angeles Times described Obama’s endorsement as “a dramatic show of respect to the powerful nation he hopes will play a key role in support of US interests around the world.”

“The pledge is only a step in direction of new international stature for India,” it said, noting “the nation likely won’t attain permanent council status anytime soon, and the US is backing its addition only as part of a series of council reforms that could be years in the making”.

The Wall Street Journal said: “The gesture toward India was long-sought by New Delhi and greeted warmly by the Indian Parliament during the president’s speech.”

It cited Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes as saying the move was meant to formalise India’s rise as a world and regional power.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])