By Sanjeeb Baruah
India is confident of the India-US relations climbing a higher trajectory during the prospective Joe Biden presidency. This was the sense of the online conference organized by India Writes Network entitled “Future of India-US Relations after US Elections – New Hopes, New Horizons.”
A galaxy of diplomats, scholars and strategic analysts participated in the webinar. The speakers included Kanwal Sibal, former Indian Ambassador to France and Russia; Meera Shankar, former Ambassador to US and Germany; Mukesh Aghi, President and CEO of US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF); Michael Kugelman, Deputy Director (Asia Program) at The Wilson Centre, US; and Harinder Sekhon, strategic analyst and author. Bharat FM, a multilingual news and entertainment radio station serving Indian Americans, was the media partner of the conference.
The program was broadcast live on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter between 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm IST on November 6, and moderated by Manish Chand, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network and India and the World Magazine.
“There has not been any controversy in terms of US foreign policy. In fact, the relationship has improved over the years, from the end of the Clinton and Bush administrations to the Obama and Trump administrations,” said Kanwal Sibal, former foreign secretary of India. However, that doesn’t mean there haven’t been issues and problems but we have always been at the manageable level, he added.
Mr Sibal underlined that India and the US have not wasted any momentum for improved ties. “A bipartisan consensus in the US is the reality in terms of their relationship because India’s rise does not cause concern in the US as China’s rise is. Moreover, India is not in a race to become the world’s foremost power by 2049,” he said.
Mukesh Aghi, President and CEO of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), underscored that in the last two years, there have been more engagements with the US than any other country in the world. “So, the geopolitical alignment does percolate down to the economic alignment, evident from the fact that bilateral trade has risen to around $150 billion,” he said.
In a similar vein, Meera Shankar, a former ambassador of India to the US said that “there is a strong bipartisan consensus in the US to build the relationship with India and this is driven by the increasing strategic convergence between the two countries in the Indo-Pacific region”.
She said Mr Biden’s stance “would be less transactional or America First president, which was President Trump’s stance. Mr Biden’s stance is internationalist. “He (Biden) said that he will build an international coalition and partners to put pressure on China,”’ she said.
“The webinar took a searching look at how the next US administration, be it Joe Biden or Donald Trump, will impact India’s core national interests in the economic and strategic arena. Surely, Joe Biden will probably his own idiom and pet phrases, but what Indians would be interested in knowing is whether Making America Great and Making India Great can dovetail without friction under the new US administration,” said Mr Chand.
“Joe Biden’s administration, if elected, would be about restoring America’s role on the world stage, rebuilding alliances, and rally the world to confront common challenges, including climate change,” said Harinder Sekhon.
“The only way for India-US relations is to go up and up – and it does not matter whether it is Donald Trump or Joe Biden. And this time, along with Biden, we have Kamala Harris, the first Indian-American and the first female who is set to be vice-president of the world’s most powerful economy,” said Mr Chand.
- India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) is an emerging think tank and a media-publishing company focused on international affairs & the India Story. A venture of TGII Media Private Limited, a leading media, publishing and consultancy company, IWN has carved a niche for balanced and exhaustive reporting and analysis of international affairs. Eminent personalities, politicians, diplomats, authors, strategy gurus and news-makers have contributed to India Writes Network, as also “India and the World,” a magazine focused on global affairs. The Global Insights India (TGII) is the research arm of India Writes Network. To subscribe to India and the World, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
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