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A plan to deal with President Trump | Opinion – analysis


Since February 11, when it was formally announced, there has been a buzz about the visit of the President of the United States (US), Donald Trump, to Ahmedabad, Agra and Delhi, which begins today.

This is not only due to his personality, comments and erratic, vain and tweets that attract the headlines. Nor is it due only to the overall weight of the US. UU. Nor to the established importance of the bilateral dimensions of political, economic, technological cooperation and defense of the relationship. It is also because the link between people is among the strongest elements of the relationship and captures the imagination of aspirational India.

There are now more than 4 million people of Indian origin in the United States. President Trump who attended the Howdy Modi event in Houston in September last year, before a crowd of 50,000 Indian-Americans, was a recognition of the growing importance of this community in the politics, voting and fundraising of political the United States. One in seven patients in the United States is treated by an Indian doctor. It is said that about 40% of all hotel rooms are owned or managed by American Indians. They now have a growing presence as executive directors of Fortune 500 companies and start-ups in Silicon Valley. There are 200,000 Indian students, currently in US universities. UU., Which are looking towards a future in the USA. UU. Or in the construction of economic and technological links between EE. UU. And India, whether they are located there or in India.

The rumor is also due to the USA. UU., As the preeminent world power (although it now faces technological challenges from China and Russia’s military), having declared support for the rise and national aspirations of India.

Under President Trump, the United States has clearly recognized the challenge it faces from China, a process that saw spring outbreaks under George W Bush, and an Asia “pivot” under Barack Obama after its initial failed exploration of “strategic tranquility.” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in public comments on October 30, 2019, said the United States “hesitated and did much less than we should have done when China threatened its neighbors like Vietnam and the Philippines, and when they claimed the entire South China Sea. ” “.

The United States has significantly raised import tariffs from China to address its trade deficit of $ 350 billion. Strengthened measures to limit Chinese companies’ access to high technology, reduced the participation of Chinese academics and students in research and innovation laboratories in US universities. UU., And is organizing a worldwide campaign to block Huawei’s participation in the 5G infrastructure.

The United States now has to deal with a challenge that it has created. From its reach to China in 1971, and a greater commitment since 1979, there was military and intelligence cooperation; promotion of technology transfer; granting preferential access to trade and investment; large educational exchange programs (today’s Chinese students, with 400,000, are double the number of Indian students); facilitation of multilateral financing for development through the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, among others; and allow entry into the World Trade Organization.

In addition to its own measures to address the consequences of a “resurrected” China, the United States seeks to develop other partnerships, “to shape the environment.” His frequent reiteration of a “free and open Indo-Pacific”; bilateral and triangular partnership with Japan and South Korea; the JHA with Japan and India, and the Quad (which includes Japan and Australia, in addition to India and the US); and the name change of its Pacific Command based in Hawaii as the Indo-Pacific Command, are among the answers.

In addition to the strengths in the bilateral relationship between the United States and India, it is China’s challenge that, for now, will provide a burden that will focus the thinking of American strategists.

However, given the compulsions of domestic policy and political preferences of the United States, there will be challenges and punctures in the relationship between the United States and India. If the United States supports the rise of India, as its leaders say, it does not follow that it has withdrawn the benefits of the Generalized System of Preferences, it has eliminated India from the category of developing countries by compensatory trade measures, tariff taxes on imports of steel and aluminum to nationals. security reasons, and kept the envelope expanding in the ongoing trade negotiations.

While defense cooperation has increased significantly since the civil nuclear cooperation agreement in 2008, with India now hired to buy supplies for $ 18 billion, there is still no major defense technology collaboration. In Pakistan, the policy of the United States falters depending on whether the policy of the moment is to pressure or incentivize it in the context of terrorism and Afghanistan. US sanctions on Russia and Iran also increase costs and challenge options for India.

During Trump’s visit, therefore, India’s strategy is suggested. Given its obvious vain nature, offer a welcome that allows you to say, right or wrong, that you had a reception and crowds beyond Bill Clinton (2000), Bush (2006) or Obama (2010 and 2015). Deepen the convergence in the management of the Chinese challenge, while maintaining the freedom to build on the spirit of the informal India-China summits of Wuhan and Mamallapuram. Recognize the US compulsions about Pakistan, but make sure that the pressure on its support for terrorism is maintained, including through the Financial Action Task Force. Welcome Trump generously, but keep in mind the need to maintain bipartisan support for India in the US Congress. UU., Which is wearing a little at this stage. And point out the incongruity in welcoming the rise of India and then taking measures that generate economic costs.

Arun K Singh is a former Indian ambassador to the United States

The opinions expressed are personal.

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