The upcoming US Presidential election and the outcome will have little impact on India and its policies though many have expressed their concern over a possible change in the White House. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is known to have developed close relations with US President Donald Trump in the last four years. Several quarters have opined that in case presidential candidate Joe Biden is voted into power, it could be advantage China.
US-China relations have nosedived since 2018 with the trade war. The ties have worsened after the global outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
As the race for White House hots up, Trump has increased his aggression on China, accusing his Democrat opponent of being soft on China.
Biden’s China approach
“Biden has long been featured as a champion of the US engagement policy with China and strategic ambiguity on Taiwan,” wrote the Diplomat. But the same publication also said that “over the past year, Biden’s position on China has undergone a tectonic shift as he takes a tougher stance on China’s human rights violation and strategic competition with the United States. Both presidential candidates are looking to make China a central feature of the race.”
Foreign policy analysts, however, said that India-US relations have developed over the years. “India-US relations are driven by mutual strategic interests in Asia and beyond and they have got completely institutionalized over the years,” Narendra Taneja, BJP spokesperson, told IndiaNarrative.com.
Shakti Sinha, director at Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Policy Research and International Studies, pointed out that the Democrats have a firm agenda which is not very different from Trump’s. “In the short term, yes, it [India-US ties] could have some hiccups, in fact even during Obama, there were some issues initially but the larger goal is the same and there is no cause for concern in the long term,” Sinha said.
The former bureaucrat also said that the Democrats are wary of China, especially for outright breach of minority rights and treatment to the Uighur Muslims.
“Our Prime Minister had very close ties with President Obama. His personal chemistry with President Trump is also well known,” Taneja added.
However, the outcome of the US elections could otherwise have far-reaching ramifications especially related to Iran and the middle east region. Washington had stepped up economic pressure against Iran in 2018 after which even India, which was one of the main buyers of Iranian oil, had to stop imports from Tehran.