Mains Paper 2: IR | Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Not Much
Mains level: How India’s interests can benefit the US, in the Asian region
- The article talks about the US president’s Asian visit.
- And what should be done to counter the assertive Chinese behavior in the region
US President’s official trip to Asia
- With stops in Japan, South Korea, China, and now Vietnam, for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) summit
- In his address to the APEC CEO Summit, he outlined a vision of upholding a “free and open Indo-Pacific”
Is it possible to achieve the target of ‘free and open Indo-Pacific’ without India?
- The United States cannot achieve that goal without strong Asian partnerships—including with India
- Though India is not on the president’s Asia itinerary, the nomenclature alone—Indo-Pacific rather than Asia-Pacific—suggests that India stands rightly to play a central part in the Trump administration’s larger Asia strategy
- With long-standing allies like Japan, South Korea and Australia, India offers democratic and economic ballast to deal with the rise of China’s power
How can India counter a more assertive China in the region?
- The Indo-Pacific idea recognizes that a rising China has become more assertive as well as authoritarian, and it elevates Washington’s ties with India as an alternative model to all that Beijing represents
- By expanding Asia’s geographic net to include the world’s largest democracy, this larger region encompasses a greater balance favoring rule of law, freedom of navigation, open trade, and democracy
What the US President can do to advance India’s interests(and its asian allies) in the region
- The “Quad” grouping that adds Australia to the robust trilateral of India, Japan, and the United States appears on the verge of revival, a positive step
- In addition to strengthening ties to our traditional Asian allies, the president could start by clearly stating support for cooperative economic institutions like the APEC forum
- He should call explicitly for APEC to offer membership to India
- Asia’s third largest economy deserves to have a seat at the table, and it will help India to be more embedded in the premier regime focused on free and open trade in Asia
- To address the urgent need for infrastructure funding in the Asian region, the president should also support a capital base expansion for the World Bank
Trade issues between India and the US
- India recognize its famously difficult stances on trade and market access questions
- But a narrow focus on the $24 billion trade deficit with India (compared to more than $300 billion with China), should not distract from this larger goal
- India need to sort out market access problems and our difficulties with Indian intellectual property rights polices, but these questions are not strategic in nature
The way forward
- To meaningfully support a “free and open Indo-Pacific,” the Trump administration will have to be creative in building broad Asian partnerships, especially with its India policy
- We need all the allies we can muster
- A strong, stable, democratic India committed to a rules-based order will indeed be a “bookend” for the region. Washington will have to alter its economic focus to get there