The visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the US is of paramount importance given the geopolitical and economic problems the globe is now experiencing. The US government is pulling out all the stops to welcome Mr. Modi, treating it as a state visit, the highest level of diplomatic protocol.
The visit aims to strengthen India-US relations and shape the global order. This article delves into the key areas of discussion and explores the dynamics between the two nations.
Indo-Pacific Collaboration: Addressing China’s Influence
India’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region has become vital for the United States, which seeks a counterbalance to China’s expanding power. Although India has been hesitant to fully embrace this role, it has taken actions that irk China, such as conducting military drills with US forces and actively participating in the Quad alliance.
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India is a desirable partner for nations pursuing a “China plus one” approach due to its robust economic performance and promise as a manufacturing alternative to China.
Strengthening Maritime Security in the Indo-Pacific
In the larger Indo-Pacific theater, India and the US have begun to coordinate their objectives. The US has placed a higher priority on the Pacific and the South China Sea than India has historically placed on the Indian Ocean area.
Both nations are aware of the importance of marine security in the area, though. Discussions during the visit will likely revolve around consolidating their presence in the Indo-Pacific, with an emphasis on tackling common challenges.
Divergent Approaches to Ukraine Conflict and Russia
While India’s defense needs heavily rely on Russia, it has publicly called for an end to the Ukraine conflict, highlighting its policy of non-alignment and strategic autonomy. Despite differing stances on the invasion, India-US relations remain strong due to their strategic convergence on other issues.
The two countries are motivated to manage their differences rather than let them hinder their overall relationship.
Emphasizing Technology, Defense, and Supply Chain Management
Modi US Visit: Technology cooperation is a focal point, with the US and India signing the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology. This agreement facilitates collaboration between firms and universities in various sectors, including IT, space, defense, artificial intelligence, education, and healthcare. Significant advancements have also been made in defense cooperation as India seeks to diversify its defense imports and lessen its reliance on Russia.
Major defense deals, such as the purchase of MQ-9A “Reaper” drones and collaboration on fighter jet engine manufacturing, are expected. Trade-related issues, especially those concerning global supply chains and China’s monopoly, will also feature in discussions.
Trade Challenges and Future Prospects
Despite being India’s top trading partner, there is untapped potential for trade between the US and India. Differences over tariffs and export controls have posed challenges, but the leaders will lay the groundwork for addressing these issues in the future.
Both countries recognize the importance of trade, especially in the context of global supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic and China’s dominance. Although trade policy approaches may differ, trade between Indian and US firms has thrived despite government-level differences.
The US-India relationship has experienced complexities, ranging from mistrust to the rebuilding of trust and occasional disagreements. President Biden remains committed to enhancing India-US relations, even as concerns are raised by some in the US regarding India’s human rights record. As both countries approach upcoming elections, the visit aims to secure sellable headlines for their domestic audiences.
In general, the future of the alliance between India and the United States seems bright as both countries cooperate to increase transparency, solidify their democracies, and realize the full potential of their populations. Read more article here.