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China Is No Excuse for Biden to Ignore Human Rights in India,Which Has More Internet Shutdowns Than Any Country On Earth

beijingwalker

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China Is No Excuse for Biden to Ignore Human Rights in India



By Justin Sherman
April 30, 2021

As the Biden administration recovers from its predecessor’s diplomatic mess, and positions itself as a counterbalance (of sorts) to the Chinese government’s increasing economic and technological power, one partner looks to be a key one: India. While it has been over a year since the Indian and U.S. heads of state have met face-to-face, U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s recently concluded trip affirmed the relationship’s importance. “We will deepen our partnership with India,” the administration’s interim national security strategic guidancereads. And this appears especially true on technology issues.

Forging international coalitions to combat Beijing’s technological influence — censorship and surveillance included — is an overarching goal of the Biden administration. Alongside other allies and friends worldwide, India could be an important partner in that fight. Hence why the White House may be tempted to give India-U.S. tech positioning against China decisive priority over addressing human rights issues in India. Yet doing so would be a serious mistake.

The second most populous country in the world, home to a large and lucrative domestic market, and the site of a rapidly growing technology sector, India is a very attractive partner for the United States on a range of internet policy issues. In an ideal world, rightfully so. U.S. and Indian policymakers cooperating on combatting digitally infused authoritarianism, especially vis-à-vis Beijing’s growing technological influence, could produce serious movement on tech policy. So could, in this ideal scenario, work on such issues as norms for artificial intelligence development or legislative frameworks for data privacy.

But the Biden administration must also confront the digital repression now rampant in India: more internet shutdowns than any country on earth in 2018 and again in 2019; a privacy bill under legislative consideration with massive carve-outs for government surveillance; growing attacks, by Modi and the BJP, on the press, the courts, the academy, and human rights writ large that are inextricably linked with crackdowns in the digital sphere. The increasing inseparability of offline and online rights abuses is manifestly clear in India.

When the Modi administration stripped Kashmir of its special status, kicking off a months-long repression filled with rigid media control and police brutality, it simultaneously strangled the internet in the region. When thousands of citizens moved to the streets in protest of an Islamophobic citizenship bill over a year ago — or, more recently, as farmers protested national regulatory moves on agriculture — the state’s response was to sever internet connectivity while unleashing state violence, hindering at once protesters’ ability to communicate and the international community’s ability to look in. Early on in the global COVID-19 outbreak, New Delhi tried to use the Supreme Court to censor media coverage of the pandemic. Recent Modi government moves to censor tweets and Facebook posts on the country’s disastrous, destructive reaction to COVID-19 — with deaths now skyrocketing — are but another example. All of these digital events, from internet shutdowns to maneuvers that would expand state surveillance, reflect broader political trends. India’s press freedom rankings have declined under Modi; references to an ethnonationalist government are increasing, as a direct product of the government’s increasingly repressive behavior.

Given the urgency the United States places on building international coalitions to counter Beijing, there is particular risk that technology and defense arguments prevail in Washington over human rights considerations. Getting the Indian government’s cooperation on China tech issues, some may well argue, is important enough to not strongly press these domestic human rights problems.

Doing so would be a mistake. Truly making human rights a pillar of U.S.foreign policy — and recovering credibility lost by the last White House — means not casting it aside the moment a claim of “strategic” priority arrives. Washington has many tools at its disposal to demonstrate that the likes of internet blackouts and court-pushed censorship orders are unacceptable, and it should push the Modi government to change its behavior by leveraging that toolbox.

Yet there is also a self-interested reason for the United States to center human rights in the India-U.S. tech relationship. In claiming to combat modern repression both offline and online, the Biden administration would lose moral ground if combating those behaviors in theory means disregarding rights violations in practice. For fighting the online-offline fusion of modern repression necessitates fighting it everywhere it stands, and that includes in India.

 

Surya 1

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World should concern for Internet shutdown as it is a great human right violation. However, they can ignore the country with execution Quota and public beheading as these are small maters.
 

beijingwalker

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I thought India was the world largest democracy and citizens have total freedom for everything, it seems that I'd been brainwashed by so many Indians posters here who repeatedly claimed so.
 

denel

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World should concern for Internet shutdown as it is a great human right violation. However, they can ignore the country with execution Quota and public beheading as these are small maters.
Says who....

Internet is not a necessity of life. which decade were you born in? Ever heard of radio and tv.

I would be happy if internet was totally shutdown. No more Indian call centers, No more E-commerce and global traffic with China. Every country would have to do more to do by itself. Internet has caused more social malaise from media and lunatic fringes than anything else.
 

Protest_again

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I thought India was the world largest democracy and citizens have total freedom for everything, it seems that I'd been brainwashed by so many Indians posters here who repeatedly claimed so.
You keep opening these threads criticising India while journalists in your country are non existent other than CCP bots. You need to have a standard to even criticise.
 

beijingwalker

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Internet shutdowns? Mainstream social media is banned in China.
What is mainstream media? China has the world biggest internet population and leads in 5G implementation,99% only view Chinese language media channels, China dose have some English social media platforms like Tiktok, banned in India though.
You keep opening these threads criticising India while journalists in your country are non existent other than CCP bots. You need to have a standard to even criticise.
You Indian guys always attack China unprovokedly, if you can quit that bad habit, I'll be more than happy to leave India alone, I honestly don't care anything about India at all.
 

denel

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What is mainstream media? China has the world biggest internet population and leads in 5G implementation,99% only view Chinese language media channels, China dose have some English social media platforms like Tiktok, banned in India though.

You Indian guys always attack China unprovokedly, if you can quit that bad habit, I'll be more than happy to leave India alone, I honestly don't care anything about India at all.
The point is very valid. Free media and freedom to criticise. I dont see none of that. On the contrary - always warm and fuzzy potemkien village govt narrative.
 

Protest_again

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What is mainstream media? China has the world biggest internet population and leads in 5G implementation,99% only view Chinese language media channels, China dose have some English social media platforms like Tiktok, banned in India though.

You Indian guys always attack China unprovokedly, if you can quit that bad habit, I'll be more than happy to leave India alone, I honestly don't care anything about India at all.
In Chinese social media, you post against CCP or Xi jinping, you would land in Jail. That's extreme freedom, you enjoy there.

You don't care about India but you obsessively browse to find articles from Indian media to post here. Lol.
 

beijingwalker

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China's media is regulated, we never denied it, but some country brags their "free media" 24/7 around the clock in PDF, I almost believed them...
 

Protest_again

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China's media is regulated, we never denied it, but some country brags their "free media" 24/7 around the clock in PDF, I almost believed them...
Well media is free to the point where it doesn't hinder national security and not deliberately twist the story to suit a narrative. Obviously you don't understand the nuances when it comes to freedom of speech because you don't have one. You trying to teach us about freedom of speech is ironical. Lol.
 

beijingwalker

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Well media is free to the point where it doesn't hinder national security and not deliberately twist the story to suit a narrative. Obviously you don't understand the nuances when it comes to freedom of speech because you don't have one. You trying to teach us about freedom of speech is ironical. Lol.
The OP source is from US, they try to teach you. Both of you are just hypocrites on this though.
 
Oct 6, 2020
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What is mainstream media? China has the world biggest internet population and leads in 5G implementation,99% only view Chinese language media channels, China dose have some English social media platforms like Tiktok, banned in India though.
TikTok is more of a content platform for entertainment, by that logic every multiplayer game is a form of social media.
The OP source is from US, they try to teach you. Both of you are just hypocrites on this though.
They themsleves ban their president from Twitter.
 

Surya 1

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Says who....

Internet is not a necessity of life. which decade were you born in? Ever heard of radio and tv.

I would be happy if internet was totally shutdown. No more Indian call centers, No more E-commerce and global traffic with China. Every country would have to do more to do by itself. Internet has caused more social malaise from media and lunatic fringes than anything else.
It would not happen to make you happy.
 

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