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Webinar on The Future of US-India Relations and the Role of China

In Kochi
August 06, 2020

“There is something inscrutable about China. India will need to invest more in understanding the Chinese psyche, if we are to reverse the current level of disengagement between the two countries.”, said Ambassador T P Sreenivasan. He was speaking to Dr D Dhanuraj, Chairman, Centre for Public Policy Research, Kochi at the webinar organised by World Trade Center Kochi, in association with the Centre for Public Policy Research, Kochi and Indo American Chamber of Commerce on ‘The Future of US-India Relations and the Role of China in the Changing Global Order’ on 5th August (Wednesday), 2020. He highlighted that despite several concessions given by India to China, they remain unyielding.

Outlining the history of Indo-US relationship, Ambassador Sreenivasan highlighted that Trump holding office has surely been a high point in this relationship. In the struggle for global dominance, the US has found a friend in India in a situation where Europe is not united and NATO undependable and this is seen in the push for grouping like the Quadrilateral for like minded countries.

Dr D Dhanuraj added that with technology and trade defining foreign relations in the recent decade, China has marched ahead and is giving the US a tough run now. This leaves us with an important question that when the cat in the room becomes a tiger how do you deal with it? The Ambassador replied that this has resulted in the US taking a strong position against China, one example being the closing down of Chinese Consulate in Houston. This Chinese factor in addition with the onslaught of COVID 19 and upcoming elections has been overwhelming challenges concerning the US.

Talking about India’s options to deal with China, Ambassador T P Sreenivasan puts forth 3 critical aspects.: Consistent talks with the top military officials; economic action and stretching our military capabilities. Even the limited economic measures India has resorted recently by banning few lifestyle apps has gone a long way. The third leg of strengthening military capability will rely a lot on US capacity, pushing India closer to the US.

Concluding the conversation, Ambassador underlined that when all is said and done, pandemic has helped improve India’s standing in the Global order. India’s initial handling of the COVID situation, insistence on multilateral options and the progress made in medicine and vaccines have given India an edge in the world with a high place in the global anti pandemic global alliance.