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Indians see the US as the second biggest military threat, finds survey

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A surprising number of Indians think the US is the biggest military threat after China. They think the US poses more danger than historic rival Pakistan. This is in spite of New Delhi's close partnership with the US, Australia, and Japan.

A survey by a US-based global business intelligence company Morning Consult found that 22% of Indians consider the US to be a security threat. When asked which country is the biggest threat, around 43% named China with whom India has a decades-old border dispute. The tensions have also been high despite many rounds of talks between the governments.

The Indian public's worry over the US is due to tensions increasing between Washington and Beijing. Many worries that India will get caught in the middle of a US-China conflict which will destabilise regional security. "While the world's two largest democracies would seem to make for natural partners, especially given their mutual mistrust of China, Indians have strategic reasons to be wary of the world's Western superpower," said Sonnet Frisbie and Scott Moskowitz who worked on the survey.

Many Indians also think NATO and the US are more responsible for the Ukraine war than Russian President Vladimir Putin. This is likely due to historical ties with Russia which were formed during the Cold War and India's post-independence period. Many consider this diplomatic relationship more valuable than relatively new India-US ties.

Shumita Deveshwar, India research senior director at TS Lombard, told NDTV that in the mindset of Indians, Russia has a place as the main supplier of weapons and cheap oil. "That takes much longer to change."

60% of respondents said India should continue to purchase oil from Russia. 48% of them said Moscow should remain India's preferred military equipment provider. 49% of them said the Indian government should continue military exercises with Russia. However, 44% of people said India should rely on the US for military weapons.

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TAGS:USChinaRussiaUkraine warRussian oilIndia China border disputeUS China tensionsIndia China tensions
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