How America Can Unleash India’s Massive Economic Potential
President Barack Obama’s successful summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi reminds us that India, no less than China, will help determine the future of Asia and the world – and that India and America are destined to be allies in support of peace and pluralism in the emerging global order.
Modi underlined this point when he said the U.S.-India partnership would be instrumental in “shaping the character of this century.” India, after decades of sitting on the sidelines of global politics, would now assume its “responsibility” within an Indo-U.S. “global partnership,” he said. This marks the demise of India’s vexed tradition of non-alignment, which may once have suited a country that was weak and poor but makes no sense for a country that is rising and strong.
After years of courtship, it appears Washington now has a partner in New Delhi it can do business with – and who is not embarrassed to align openly with the world’s superpower to advance India’s interests, as were previous leaders in New Delhi. The vision statement on Asian security agreed to at the summit aligns India with America and Japan in advocating a regional balance of power that is tilted towards Asia’s democracies rather than towards China. Indeed, the two leaders even discussed reconstituting the Quadrilateral Partnership comprising America, India, Japan, and Australia – a grouping China previously condemned as an “Asian NATO.”