India-US: Defining Partnership of the Twenty-First Century

Washington-based Hudson Institute has started a new dialogue series, to explore the various dimensions of the Indo-US ties. Titled Motwani Jadeja US-India Dialogue Series, the first conversation under the series hosted by Aparna Pande explored the various facets of the Indo-US ties with Walter Russell Mead

By Editorial Desk

Foreign Affairs

As the world’s oldest and largest democracies, respectively, the United States and India constitute key anchor points of the democratic world, and the two nations have significantly deepened their partnership over the past three decades. Shared values and strong people-to-people connections remain the core of US-India ties.

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But the relationship is also based on a mutual commitment to economic engagement, marked by deepening trade relations worth over $190 billion. Additionally, US-India defence relations have evolved in recent years, reflecting shared security interests and a commitment to a free, open, inclusive, and rules-based international order.

Aparna Pande of Washington-based Hudson Institute recently spoke to Senior Hudson Fellow Walter Russell Mead on the bigger picture of US-India relations in all their dimensions. This was the first conversation under Motwani Jadeja US-India Dialogue Series – The Defining Partnership of the Twenty-First Century: US-India Relations was held earlier, last month.

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Walter was of the view that currently what is paramount for the US is to stop the Chinese hegemony in the Indo-Pacific and its belligerence in the South China Sea, and for every issue concerned there is one common denominator, which you can’t ignore while striving to counter China’s rise and that is India.

The United States and India constitute key anchor points of the democratic world, and the two nations have significantly deepened their partnership over the past three decades

Commenting on the new US-led world order and India’s preference to be part of a multi-polar world order, Walter was of the view that India indeed wants itself to emerge as an economic super power and in this competition it doesn’t want to be browbeaten by China.

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Further India enjoys a bi-partisan support in the US, irrespective of which administration holds the reigns of power in Washington, as when the question of stopping the Chinese hegemony and belligerence in the Indo-Pacific crops up and on which countries the US could rely more, or a country which could help stop any potential US-China war besides containing the Chinese hegemonistic drive in the Indo-Pacific, then that country is India.

Walter further said that it is contingent on India’s ability to establish itself as an economic superpower, because then also managing or dominating the Indo-Pacific would be difficult for either China or India, alone.

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Focussing on how to increase US-India relations more cohesively, Walter was of the view that we should develop and support people to people relations, institution to institution relations, through which we could strive to diffuse the unnecessary difficulties into the bilateral relationship.

We should develop and support people to people relations, institution-to-institution relations, through which we could strive to diffuse the unnecessary difficulties into the bilateral relationship

To enhance the bilateral relationship between the two countries, Walter was of the view that to constructively prepare for the future we should try to increase the level of India specific knowledge among the next generation of senior policy makers. He was of the view that on both sides there is this misleading belief that as the relationship becomes closer it would be marked by fewer arguments, but politically that’s not what happens at the ground level. But he expressed confidence that there are many areas in which the two countries could identify an indication of synergies and it would serve the long term aspirations of both the countries beneficially.

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To listen to the full conversation, kindly visit: https://www.youtube.com/live/QtYph5YNr_M?si=y3K6hsbWvXt_W3LH