Speaking in Washington, external affairs minister S. Jaishankar declared it’s difficult to put a limit on India’s relations with the US. “I can promise you that this relationship, like the Chandrayaan, will go to the Moon, maybe even beyond,” he was cited as saying. The bit about limits seemed to echo the “no limits” partnership that Moscow and Beijing declared on the eve of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a declaration taken to signal the start of a renewed Cold War, this time with China angling for global power. Although lunar analogies haven’t been made by US diplomats, Jaishankar’s words sound crafted as a reminder of two points. One, India is a remarkable spacefaring success, and two, the logic of India playing China’s counterweight in Asia remains as compelling as ever. Given voices in the West asking for the US to re-evaluate ties with New Delhi over Canadian allegations, those points needed articulation. Equally, with US President Joe Biden having framed today’s global divide as one between democracies and autocracies, Western scrutiny of Indian democracy shouldn’t really surprise us. It is the cause of liberty, after all, that the US claims it’s out to uphold.