US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will deliver a major policy speech in Washington DC today on US-India political and
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will deliver a major policy speech in Washington DC today on US-India political and economic relations.
The US has been pushing for a broader economic role for India in the Indo-Pacific region. Last year, India joined the US in asserting the need to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific—a veiled reference to China’s increasing assertiveness in the region, particularly in the South China Sea. India and the US also see eye-to-eye on counterterrorism, agreeing last September to a Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement giving India access to a range of advanced communication technologies used in US defence equipment.
While India and the US may have shared interest in keeping China in check and cooperating with counterterrorism efforts in the Indo-Pacific, India has its own interest in emerging as a major regional power. In order for it to do so it will need to ensure it does not get caught up in an asymmetric alliance with the US. The US likewise shares the view that while pairing off India and China against one another is ideal, the pendulum shifting and India achieving economic or military hegemony in the region is equally undesirable.
Consequently, expect Secretary Pompeo to nominally call for, and PM Modi to nominally agree to, greater cooperation in advancing shared interests but with both countries proceeding cautiously going forward.
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