Trump: William Barr resigns as US attorney general
On New Year’s Day, the US Senate voted to bypass Mr Trump’s veto of the huge National Defense Authorization Act. The Act put in place US military policy and also handles other issues associated with it.
According to reports, it is the first time that Congress has overridden a presidential veto in all the years that Mr Trump has been in power.
New agency NPR reports the bill usually passes through the US Government.
However, this year Mr Trump refused to approve the bill due to a number of issues he had with it, including that it aims to rename US military bases that are named after controversial Confederate figures.
The Senate voted on Friday to pass the bill anyway by 81 votes to 13.
Indian press outlets have hailed the move, since the NDAA contains a passage that expresses concern about the ongoing tensions between Indian and Chinese forces over the Line of Actual Control (LAC) boundary between the two countries.
According to the Press Trust of India, the NDAA states that Beijing “should work with” India in order to de-escalate the situation at the LAC.
Raja Krishnamoorthi, an Indian-American Congressman, is said to have pushed amendments to the bill to reflect US support of India as an ally.
Mr Krishnamoorthi said the NDAA act included “elements of my resolution calling on China to end its military aggression towards India and others in the broader Indo-Pacific region”.
Last year saw military tensions between China and India over the LAC boundary amid a clash between forces on both sides that left at least 20 dead, according to reports at the time.
Both countries have stationed tens of thousands of soldiers in the Himalayas even as temperatures have plunged through the winter.
At the same time, military officials from India and China met several times throughout 2020 with the aim of cooling tensions and preventing clashes.
The ninth round of Commander-level talks is still being negotiated, China’s Defence Ministry spokesman Sr Colonel Tan Kefei said on Thursday last week, The Hindu reports.
Meanwhile President Trump took to Twitter on New Year’s Day to hit out at his own Republican Senate for allowing the defence bill to pass as it did.
In particular, he hit out at one part of the bill – Section 230 – which he said “gives unlimited power to big tech companies”.
He also said it was “pathetic” that the NDAA was voted through.
Analysts say the US and India have grown closer during the Trump administration due to military cooperation.
It has led to speculation regarding how the relationship between the two countries will continue under incoming President Joe Biden, who takes over in just a few weeks.
The New York Times reports Mr Biden could scrutinise Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s political party for ‘becoming overtly hostile toward Muslim minorities’.
Meanwhile Ashley J Tellis, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, told the outlet the US needs India for “balancing Chinese power in Asia”.