US President Joe Biden has expressed his support for the India-US initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) as a key aspect of the two countries’ effort to establish a democratic technology ecosystem. The White House has confirmed this viewpoint and hailed the iCET as “the Next Big Thing” in the India-US relationship. The initiative was launched by the US National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, and the Indian National Security Advisor, Ajit K Doval, at the White House on Tuesday.
The White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, emphasized the importance of the iCET and the partnership between the US and India. She stated that the initiative is a step forward in strengthening the relationship between the two countries, both of which are leading economies and democracies. Jean-Pierre also emphasized that the iCET is not focused on any one country and is instead aimed at establishing a relationship between two friends and partners.
“The President believes this initiative is key for the US and India to create a democratic technology ecosystem and reinforces our democratic values and our democratic institutions. So, we see this as an incredibly important initiative and a partnership that we have with India,” Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters at her daily news conference.
When asked if this initiative was aimed towards China, the press secretary said it is not about one country.
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"You can't ignore the geopolitical context that we live in, as you asked me about China, but this initiative is not about any country, just one country. It truly is about something bigger than that, a relationship between two friends, two countries who have been partners for some time,” she said.
The State Department Deputy Press Secretary, Vedant Patel, also spoke at a separate news conference and discussed the opportunities for increased cooperation in critical and emerging technologies.
He noted that the US and India have already discussed ways to deepen their connectivity in the innovation sector and expand their defense cooperation with joint development and production. The focus of the defense cooperation will be on projects related to jet engines, munition-related technologies, and other systems.