A momentous quantity of the comments in India over the upcoming US presidential election’s impression has concentrated on what Donald Trump and Joe Biden have said or not said about Kashmir. Nevertheless, that overlooks a decisive point: Wide-ranging foreign policy pronouncements will have more vital implications for India. For the most part, resulting will be how a second Trump administration or a Biden administration recognize and approach China and, relatively, the question of America’s function in the world. The upshot will depend on not just who wins in November, but also the selections that the next American president makes on key personnel and policies.
For the Indian government, the Trump presidency’s more warlike outlook of China has been welcome. Impliedly, it touches with the Indian apprehension and disquiet about rising China’s actions and intents. And it has smoothened the progress, if not constrained, of the Trump’s running to hand over India a role of great consequence in its strategic apparatus, including through the Free and Open Indo-Pacific concept. This, in turn, has put down the ground for defence and security cooperation, incentivized Washington to manage differences with Delhi on trade, Russia, Iran and human rights, and led to vocal American patronage for India in the ongoing emergency with China. Furthermore, whilst India has a preference for a subtler methodology to underscoring Beijing’s negative conduct, the administration’s more unequivocal one — and the instruments it has as its throwing away — has put a international attention on Chinese antagonism.
On the other hand, there are facets of President Trump’s China slant that have triggered off anxiety in Delhi. There has been a prolonged worry about Trump walloping a pact with Chinese leader Xi Jinping since the Mara-Lago summit in April 2017. The government afterwards spun around opposition with China that summer. But questions have hanged about whether the competitive attitude to China has enough presidential buy-in or is more the result of certain Trump administration officials’ inclinations. These uncertainties have been invigorated spart by Trump’s assertions about his “very, very good friend” Xi, as well as his reported enthusiasm to look the other way on advancements related to Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Huawei/ZTE.
In addition, with either Trump or Biden, foreign economic policy pickings (for example, pliability and revival through diversification) and budgetary ones (for example, spending at home versus abroad) will have fundamental repercussions for India.