India seeks to dismantle pro-Trump image in US elections India

AOn Tuesday in New Delhi, Pope Podium, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Secretary of Defense Mark Asper made clear their country’s commitment to an alliance with India.

“The United States will stand with India in its efforts to defend its sovereignty and independence,” Pompeo said, emphasizing the importance of US-India relations in countering China’s “threats”.

Pompeo and Asper traveled to Delhi this week to sign a high-level intelligence-sharing agreement between the two countries. This time – just a week before the US election – many observers have called it politically strategic. This gave the Trump administration a platform to promote anti-China rhetoric and demonstrate its close ties with India, with which it was playing with Indian American voters.

However, Indian ministers were reluctant to insist that Pompeo and Asper were there for political, not diplomatic, purposes. It had nothing to do with the US election.

This is not the first time US officials have expressed concern about the bias in the US vote. Last month, India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party told its affiliates in the United States not to campaign under the BJP’s banner – doing so could jeopardize “deeper strategic ties”.

The text was clear. In the election, ahead of Biden ahead of Donald Trump, the BJP feared that its US wing had a pro-Trump image. Shiv Shankar Menon, a former Indian foreign secretary, national security adviser and diplomat, said, “Delhi has always tried to keep us bilateral and stay away from American politics.” “But over the last few years, it’s gotten harder.”

Certainly, Trump’s public display of Campradi with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been a prominent feature of US-India relations for the past four years. At the “Haydy Modi” rally in Texas in September 2019, Trump called Modi “America’s greatest, most devoted and most loyal friend,” while the two leaders held fast together. Ϋ” When Trump visited India in March 2020, a similar rally was held.

However, as the elections approach, the emphasis in New Delhi has been on bipartisanship. Since 2000 – through Democratic and Republican presidents in the United States, and through the BJP and Congress governments in India – the alliance has grown significantly stronger. Whether it is Biden who took over the Oval Office in January or Trump, India is determined to stick to it.

Harini Krishnan, right, and her daughter Johnny Krishnan celebrating with a poster promoting Jha Kamala Harris
Harry Krishnan, California’s director of state for South Asians, and his daughter, Johnny Krishnan Jha, are among the many Americans of South Asian heritage who vote for Biden. Photo: Michael Short / Getty

The United States has become a valuable ally of India in security and trade, and this alliance has helped India increase its influence globally. Meanwhile, the US State Department on Monday described the alliance as “important for the security and prosperity of both countries, the Indian Ocean region, and the world.”

But for all public resources, the substance of the Modi-Trump relationship is questionable. The expected trade agreement between the two countries has not materialized, and the United States has hit hard on India due to its huge trade deficit. India immediately rejected Trump’s offer to “mediate” with Pakistan over Kashmir, and last week’s presidential debate was hampered by what he described as “disgusting” Indian air.

“Officially, New Delhi faces the ups and downs of the Trump era,” said Milan Vishnu, director of the South Asia program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He said the two were talking about this great partnership and the strong relationship between the two leaders. But then, as we saw in the first presidential debate, [there is] Willingness to throw India under the bus when it is easy. ”

Where Trump has strengthened ties is on security and defense issues. Significant military and intelligence sharing agreements have been signed, and India has been a major buyer of US weapons.

Trump’s anti-China stance has been particularly welcomed by Indian officials, who for years have been sounding the alarm over China’s rise to power and are now engaged in an aggressive standoff with Chinese troops on their Himalayan border. Biden could take a more useful and cohesive approach with Beijing, especially on issues such as the climate emergency.

However, the alliance between the United States and India is one of the few issues on which Biden and Trump seem to agree. Trump has paid little attention to Modi’s growing dictatorial grip on India, where the BJP’s Hindu nationalist agenda has inflicted mass persecution on its 200 million Muslims, and to suggest that It is unlikely that the Biden administration will be even more critical.

“India is one of the few countries for which the outcome of the election is not an existential issue,” said Dharwa Jaishankar, director of the US initiative at the Observer Research Foundation. However, what India would like to see ideologically is a US administration that is taking a hard line on China and Pakistan, while India is pursuing its relations with Russia and Iran, which it has so far ended. Have been

The Trump campaign has sought to use the president’s close ties with Modi to appeal to Indian-American voters. Indian Americans, despite having just over 1% of the electorate, are a dynamic, sincere and influential party and traditionally vote for Democrats. A recent report released by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace found that nearly three-quarters of registered Indian-American voters intend to vote for Biden, compared to only 22 percent for Trump. Were gone

Biden’s vice presidential nominee, Kamala Harris, is the first Indian to appear on the presidential ticket: her mother emigrated from India to the United States in 1958. However, he is unlikely to push Biden’s India agenda in any radical direction. This was one of the few public statements after the BJP government split over Kashmir last August, which turned away from direct criticism.

Salvia Mishra, a researcher on US-India relations, said Indian officials were hoping for more stability in Washington than the roots of a particular candidate. “The Trump administration is in a state of great uncertainty in world affairs,” he said. “Indian diplomats have been in a lot of pain for the last four years.”

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