The visit of the Indian Foreign Minister to the US presents an opportunity to improve the strategic partnership. It highlights the India-US synergy on bilateral, regional, and multilateral issues.
- Indo-U.S ties are improving under the Biden administration. The relationship is now showing synergy on bilateral, regional, and multilateral issues. Earlier, They used to look at it as separate domains.
- The recent visit of Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar to New York presents an opportunity to deepen the same.
Synergy between bilateral, regional, and multilateral issues:
- The Indo-U.S defence cooperation laid the foundation of the QUAD group. It aims to ensure a peaceful and stable Indo-Pacific region.
- Earlier there used to be constant friction over regional issues between the two countries.
- The US is supplying essential items for vaccine production and delivering significant relief supplies to India post 2nd wave. This support is crucial for kick-starting the strategy to vaccinate the Indo-Pacific as agreed in the 1st QUAD meeting.
- Both the countries are currently the members of UNSC (United Nations Security Council). This establishes a synergy between bilateral and multilateral security.
- The US led the charge to end India’s nuclear isolation and helped India in getting a Nuclear Supplier Group (NSG) waiver. This allowed the supply of nuclear fuel to India for civilian purposes.
Factors behind such synergy:
- New Leadership in the U.S: The new President (Joe Biden) discards America’s unilateralism impulses that came to the fore under his predecessor Donald Trump.
- Biden is keener to cooperate on multilateral agreements on trade, health, and climate change.
- Common Rival: China has emerged as a common troubling rival for both countries.
- The US doesn’t want to lose its top position to Beijing, especially in the economic domain. Overexposure to China has impacted their domestic manufacturing.
- Similarly, India is also unhappy with China as:
- One, It blocked India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group and Delhi’s quest for a permanent seat at the UNSC.
- Two, It asked for the UNSC intervention against India’s constitutional changes in Jammu and Kashmir.
- Three, It protects Islamabad from international pressure on the question of Pakistan’s continuing support for cross-border terrorism in the region.
- Geographical Proximity: The Indo-Pacific vision covers the geographical boundaries of both countries. It automatically breeds regional cooperation.
- Both the countries should now revive the strategy to vaccinate the Indo-Pacific as the second wave begins to recede in India.
- Further, the countries should cooperate in boosting the global resilience against the pandemics and frame new international norms.
- Convergence must be established over trade and climate change. India must take support of the US to achieve green growth and reduce its dependence on China.
India is showing a keen interest to cooperate with the west as proved by its active support towards the European Alliance for Multilateralism. The change of leadership in the US presents India an opportunity to make multilateralism an important part of the India-US strategic partnership.