Thursday, 29 June 2017

China opens door for India in Donald Trump’s Washington

Very little was expected in India from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US, and for good reason: Modi had gone out of his way to cultivate a personal relationship with Barack Obama, including famously pouring out a cup of tea for him and the cameras when Obama visited India. Modi is nothing if not a strong personality, and has a somewhat worrying tendency to reduce complicated bilateral relationships to personal ones. Whether he would hit it off with Obama’s successor—who could perhaps be politely described as “mercurial”—was a matter of frenzied debate in New Delhi prior to the visit.

Get premium stock future by Ripples Financial Advisory- Or Call on 9644405056

As it turned out, Indian wonks needn’t have worried. Modi enveloped Donald Trump in a bear hug—something he tends to do—and whatever the American president may have thought of that, the bilateral relationship has clearly benefited from growing US disillusionment with Asia’s other giant, China. The question for Modi isn’t whether he can get along with Trump, but whether he can manage the relationship better than Chinese leader Xi Jinping has.

After Xi’s own visit to America—which featured chocolate cake and missiles at Mar-a-Lago—many Indians worried that they couldn’t expect the Trump administration to appreciate that the rise of China meant that India and the US were natural strategic partners. Indeed, hoping that Xi would pressure North Korea into scaling back its nuclear and missile programs, Trump has lavished the Chinese leader with praise and dropped his longstanding threats to punish China for allegedly unfair trade practices.

Also read: Why India-US relations may survive Donald Trump

Even now, the US president shows no sign of rethinking the somewhat intemperate remarks about India he made when withdrawing from the Paris Agreement. And he is unlikely to regret pushing Indian IT companies into a corner when it comes to temporary work visas. But, a few lines in the joint statement issued after Modi’s visit greatly reassured nervous Indian strategists:

[India and the US] support bolstering regional economic connectivity through the transparent development of infrastructure and the use of responsible debt financing practices, while ensuring respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, the rule of law, and the environment.

No comments:

Post a Comment