India and the US are firming up an ambitious agenda for the forthcoming visit of President Barack Obama to New Delhi, with Secretary of State John Kerry flagging off key …Read More
Diplomacy is the art of the possible. If successful and effective diplomacy is about reigniting the spark in old relationships, winning new friends, breaking new grounds, and shaping the outcomes in the international arena to promote the country’s enlightened national interests and development, then the seven-month old Narendra Modi government scores high as it builds on the successes of 2014 and looks ahead to 2015 with “new vision and new vigour.” Breakthrough Diplomacy, as India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj writes in a prologue to the eponymous e-book published by India’s Ministry of External Affairs, is about melding ‘Diplomacy for Development’ as the overarching themes in India’s global engagements.
“2014 has truly been a Year of Breakthrough Diplomacy. India’s star is today shining ever brighter on the global firmament,” writes Swaraj.
Talking of breakthrough diplomacy, it’s time to unscramble the jargon and introduce some balance in diplomatic discourse and the unfolding possibilities in the coming months. For one thing, breakthroughs don’t happen every day or every year in diplomacy; the India-US nuclear deal was a breakthrough, but getting Obama to be the chief guest at the 2015 Republic Day celebrations is a diplomatic triumph, but not a breakthrough. To claim routine diplomatic successes as breakthroughs, therefore, would be misleading, and lowering the bar. For another thing, diplomatic breakthroughs presuppose a perceptible and substantive rise in a country’s comprehensive national power, economic and military strength as well as soft power.
China and India are the world’s biggest developing countries and the US is the world’s biggest developed country. The combined GDP and population of these three countries form almost 40% of the global share. And they share the common mission of promoting global peace and development. The peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation between China, India and the US will not only benefit the 2.8 billion people of our three countries but will also have far-reaching impact on the world’s development.
As President Xi Jinping has said on relations between Beijing and Washington, “the vast Pacific Ocean has ample space to accommodate our two great nations.” And on the relations between Beijing and New Delhi, he has said: “If we speak with one voice, the whole world will listen.” As long as we collectively show enough foresight, courage and open-mindedness, China, India and the US can express similar understanding in three different languages of Chinese, Hindi and English, and can realise the trans-Pacific Ocean and trans-Indian Ocean cooperation in the 21st century, thus bringing the people of our three countries and even the entire world even greater prosperity. We can become the “ballast stone,” ensuring the peace and stability of the world, and the boosters of global economic growth.
While India and the US might achieve breakthroughs in the economic realm, the story of geopolitics seems to be more challenging.
The most important aspect of the relationship is the American recognition that India’s success and transformation towards a more prosperous society is in America’s interest, and India’s emergence as a major and prosperous power requires a closer relationship with the US both in the security and economic realms. As Senator McCain states, “Ultimately, this strategic partnership is about India and the US placing a long-term bet on one another – a bet that each of us should be confident can offer a big return.” The countries might have divergent perspectives, but their visions and commitment to a liberal international world order, and a rising Asia that is stable with no single power exercising disproportionate influence, do not conflict. This should be the dominant idea taking the relationship forward, as it did during the civil nuclear agreement, after which this central story line got blurred.
India and the US, the world’s oldest and most populous democracies, have put the recent past of drift and plateauing behind to open a new bright chapter in their relationship by launching a new investment initiative to multiply their trade five-fold, enhancing security cooperation and expanding the global compass of their strategic partnership from Afghanistan to Africa.
Piercing through the thicket of diplomatic clichés, the US pitched itself as a lead partner in India’s quest for smart cities and world class infrastructure.
India’s Prime Minister Narandra Modi and US President Barack Obama held all-encompassing talks for more than an hour and a half in Washington DC September 30, with the US shedding its ambivalence and pledging unstinting support for “India’s rise as a responsible, influential world power.”
The big takeaway from the first summit meeting between the leaders of the world’s largest democracies was the forceful assertion on the part of the two leaders to leave the recent past of drifting firmly behind and forge a more vibrant and enduring partnership pivoted around a transformative knowledge partnership and deploying cutting-edge technologies to address all-too-real problems facing millions of people cutting across the rural-urban divide.
Chalein Saath, Saath: forward we go together.” This emerging India-US bonding, with its promise of working together on a host of bilateral and global issues, will be reflected in a joint op-ed article co-authored by US President Barack Obama and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The article, which was approved only hours before the two leaders sat down for an informal dinner at the White House, will be published in a leading American daily, likely to be the Washington Post.Read More
Magic, mania and mystique. The Modi madness swamped New York’s famed Madison Square Garden on a bright Sunday afternoon when the leader of the world’s largest democracy unveiled his dream of remaking India and was lavished adulation that only rock stars can dream of.
Hundreds of Indian-Americans waving tricolours and sporting Modi t-shirts and tattoos thronged the Penn Plaza entrance to the iconic Madison Square Garden which is better known for hosting baseball legends, rock stars and singing sensations. Chants of MODI and WE LOVE MODI reverberated in the air.
Remaking India – this was the master theme of Modi who wove a melange of interlinked themes in his speech, which included national renewal, the role of the Indian-American community in enhancing the global profile of India, his pet projects like clean India mission, cleansing of Ganga and a compelling re-articulation of the ‘Make in India’ campaign he launched just a day before he started his American journey.
The manufacturing industry in the United States has urged India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide them a level playing field and make bilateral trade and investment a two-way street. …Read More
With India and the US looking to forge a robust economic partnership, India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met US Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs Caroline …Read More
Ahead of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Washington, US Senator Mark Warner has lauded the headway made by India and the US in the first 100 days of …Read More