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India and the US can build upon some of the progress made in bilateral ties with the administration of US President Donald Trump, a key US senator said on Friday as the world prepares for a new administration headed by president-elect Joe Biden to take office in January.

The Biden administration is open to advancing ties with India, especially in areas of technology and the fight against covid-19, senator Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, said.

“I believe that we can build upon some of the progress made by the Trump administration," Warner said on how Biden’s team would take it forward. “The Biden administration will be open to advancing ties with India," he said.

On China, Warner predicted that the incoming administration would be tough, but would look at building a partnership with countries such as India to take on the challenge posed by Beijing. Warner credited Trump with being “directionally right" on China compared with some of his predecessors such as Democrat presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. However, Trump with his “America First" policy had not offered potential allies any incentives to join the US against China, he pointed out.

“The Indian government, at times, has not been as forward leading on making the case, not just in the US but on a global basis about Kashmir," said Warner, who co-chairs the Senate India Caucus.

India needs to engage the US and the world community more aggressively on its plans to bring normalcy to Kashmir, Warner said, referring to the country revoking Article 370 of the Constitution that had given special status to Kashmir. The Indian government also bifurcated the region into two and made it into Union territories directly administered by New Delhi.

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