Does India need a veto?
The Indian permanent guest in the USA
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is visiting America for the fourth time in two years. Both partners benefit from a bilateral relationship that has never been better.
It is ironic that the Indian head of government is visiting Washington at a time when the US Secretary of State is in Beijing. Because the respective concerns in Delhi and Washington about the self-confident politics of interests of the Middle Kingdom are of considerable importance for the recent development of the bilateral relationship between the largest and the oldest democracy in the world.
Washington explicitly wants an American-Indian security partnership in the Asia-Pacific region, especially with a view to the territorial disputes in the South China Sea. An agreement on the mutual use of military infrastructure is about to be concluded and would allow American warships to call at Indian ports. A joint sea maneuver is under way, with the participation of Japan. Delhi observes the Chinese engagement in its immediate neighborhood with concern. In Pakistan, Beijing has spoken 45 billion dollars for the construction of an economic corridor from the common border in the Himalayas to the port of Gwadar on the Indian Ocean. The fact that India is making 500 million dollars available for a similar project in Iran shows the balance of power between the Asian giants. India needs US support.
Strengthening the domestic workplace
This is not only true from a military point of view and not only with regard to China. As with most of his very numerous trips abroad, Modi also advertises investments and company settlements in India in the USA. Of all the campaigns that have been launched since taking office, the Indian Prime Minister has been persevering in pursuing the one aimed at strengthening the domestic workplace (“Make in India”). As with his stopover on Monday in Geneva, Modi will also meet with business representatives in Washington.
It is hoped that Modi's visit will provide a special impetus for nuclear cooperation. Westinghouse Electric, an American subsidiary of the Japanese Toshiba group, plans to build several nuclear power plants in southern India. So far India has relied on Russian and French nuclear technology. India is also striving to be included in the group of countries supplying nuclear material (Nuclear Suppliers Group, NSG), which, in addition to simpler supply for India, would also represent complete rehabilitation in terms of nuclear policy. The NSG was founded in 1974 in response to an Indian test of nuclear weapons developed using nuclear material given to India for civilian use. Obama supports India's admission, but China wants to veto if Pakistan does not join.
A little satisfaction
Modi's fourth visit to Washington - his seventh face-to-face meeting with American President Barack Obama - is intended to reinforce the partnership between India and the United States. Although events that are clearly aimed at home audiences, such as meetings with representatives of the Indian diaspora on Modi's earlier visits, are not planned, a visit to America is always a welcome PR campaign.
Although the relationship between the two states was frosty for decades, the United States plays a role of orientation in India's middle class like no other country, not even the former colonial power Great Britain. A visit to the USA is therefore generally viewed with goodwill and offers Modi, who has so far achieved little domestically, a welcome opportunity to raise his profile. There may also be a little personal satisfaction. Because of his unexplained role in the anti-Muslim riots in the state of Gujarat, Modi was considered a persona non grata in the United States for years. Now he is a permanent guest.
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