No permanent friends, or permanent enemies; only permanent interests

by | Mar 1, 2020

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The three hallmarks of the modern world are (1) online connectivity, (2) the consumption-driven pursuit of happiness, and (3) the rise of nationalistic feelings. Those who are not into these three, whether individuals, communities or countries, are considered outside the mainstream and are left out. The new thing about New India is that an increasing number of Indian people are joining the new world and our politicians are forced to adapt their ways and update their ideologies. 

China, as a neighbor, is indeed a tough fate for India. In the last thirty years, and especially after transforming itself as the factory of the world, China amassed immense wealth and with it has come formidable military might, so much so, that even the United States sees it as a rival out to change the American-dominated world order. Indian markets are ruled by Chinese products and we import USD 50 billion worth of goods every year in excess of what we export to China. But this is not considered when China supports anti-Indian endeavors of Pakistan in every possible way. 

In a recent book Fateful Triangle, Tanvi Madan analyzed how India and the United States could never become allies, bringing out the brutal fact that international relations are indeed based on national interests. While China and Pakistan were more than eager to   counterbalance Soviet Russia, India had little to offer to the US in a tangible sense. Further, as neither country posed a threat to the other, Indo-US bilateral relations remained superficially cordial and hollow of substance. 

When the Soviet Union fell in 1991, largely due to implosion and aided and abetted by President Ronald Reagan (1911–2004), Deng’s China was seen as the next goose to be caught for dinner. The American big business community – called Fortune 500 that functioned out of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – made it clear—first to President Bill Clinton (b. 1946) and then to his successor, George W. Bush (b. 1946)—that trade with China was its highest priority. 

The ideological hangover of the Tiananmen Square, where a pro-democracy demonstration was brutally crushed in 1989 by Deng, was quickly shed away. And by the time the new millennium arrived, China was a PNTR (permanently normalized trade relations) country for the United States of America. With no fear of China’s favorable access to the U.S. market ever being revoked, the Fortune 500 opened their coffers as floodgates of investment, working hand in glove with Beijing to create new, China-centric supply chains. 

In 2012, when Xi Jinping (b. 1953) arrived on the scene, he rolled out the Made in China 2025 plan, without any pretense, to make China dominate key growth industries in the world. The Chinese government under Xi Jinping, unleashed Chinese bureaucracy demanding never-ending regulatory compliances and technology transfers on one hand and conducting blatant violation of intellectual property on the other. With a mix of idealism of President Barack Obama (b. 1961) and the unwillingness of the Fortune 500 in calling a spade by its name, China started considering itself not only as an equal to the U.S., but also an adversary for the top slot in world trade.

Now, for the first time, the U.S. is seeing China as a threat. The role of Pakistan in Afghanistan is almost over. The unplugging of China from the great American economic machine is imminent. Can the corollary of this decoupling be an India-US alliance? With business-friendly President Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the helms, there can hardly be second thoughts on this. In the last few years, a great distance has been covered by both countries towards each other and when President Trump came to India last week and made a historical defence deal with the promise to make a ‘very big trade deal’ soon, it was not a new start but the conclusion of a thought process going on for a while. 

History is a great theater of ‘what ifs’. Nothing in history is predetermined and that extends to national political trajectories too. What if, Prithviraj Chauhan had killed Muhammad Ghori when he attacked the first time and had not allowed him to return? What would have happened if the British had never come to India, or say, by 1810 or so, a loose confederacy of Sikh, Maratha and the Deccan rulers had managed to kick out the British, the French and the Portuguese? What would have happened had Mir Jafar, the commander-in-chief of Siraj-ud-Daulah’s army not betrayed his nawab? Or, had Cyril John Radcliffe applied mind and method and not divided Bengal and Punjab in five weeks? Or, had Prime Minister Nehru accepted President John F Kennedy’s offer of helping India detonate a nuclear device much before China did in 1964?

In 2020, another ‘what if’ is staring at us. The U.S. and China are locked in a tussle for the commercial control of the South China Sea, which serves as a passage for annual trade worth USD 3.5 trillion. Can India partner with Japan and Australia as U.S. allies to keep China at bay? Or, do we bury our head in the sand, and keep debating over citizenship even after seven decades of our nationhood? 

The outbreak of the Coronavirus in China has just highlighted how the best of man’s plans can go astray without any warning. Not only is the biggest factory of the world closed, but China is also on a total war footing. The longer the curbs on work and travel persist, the greater will be the global economic shock. No one country apparently has a solution to this problem and working together is the only way forward. When Prime Minister Modi wrote to President Xi offering assistance to deal with the Coronavirus outbreak, it was seen as “India’s acts of goodwill fully demonstrating its friendship with China.” 

President Donald J. Trump is the seventh United States’ president to visit India. President Dwight D. Eisenhower visited India in 1959, President Richard Nixon (1969), President Jimmy Carter (1978), President Bill Clinton (2000), President George W. Bush (2006), and President Barack Obama (2010 and 2015). In fact, thanks to President Kalam, I met President Bush and also dined with him. Earlier U.S. Presidents used to club India and Pakistan trips together, but not anymore.  

The three powerful leaders of our times indeed have a great opportunity to make Planet Earth a better place to live for humanity. It is important, however, to be clear about the limits of engagement between India and the United States against China, their common adversary, and to remember the admonition of Lord Palmerston (1784–1865), who dominated British foreign policy during the height of its imperial power and who is considered the best Prime Minister under Queen Victoria. He stated that in international relations, there are no permanent friends, or permanent enemies, but only permanent interests!

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35 Comments

  1. Amazing in depth analysis sir. Especially the topic itself self explanatory. However some points I feel that you can also add that are India too is changing its “conventional foreign policy”? Personally I believe that India or Indian market have not potential to become a superpower like china or USA as ours economy does not have production driven market. Both USA or China plays or experiments their products in India. You can imagine that Google, Facebook are not allowed in China and still USA is doing their business with them. I personally feel that in long term as a country we have to think or review our foreign and economic policies so that we can also become a producer like China or USA.

  2. The title of your paper which you quoted from Lord Palmerton is fantastic. This is a power-pack piece which is analysed with facts methodically. I learnt a new perspectives. In 2013, an economics Professor from University of Iowa, USA mentioned to me and David that US economy is already on shaky ground because they borrowed billions of dollars from China.  

  3. An insightful and thought-provoking analysis of the present day political and economic stressful ecosystem vis-à-vis India-China-USA. In international economic warfare, ideologies have no place. Economic considerations override all other factors including ideologies. There are no permanent friends or enemies; only interests are permanent. This is true in national and global politics. Countries adapt, adjust and sometime take strategic back step(s) in the interest of long-term gains.

    The rise of nationalistic feelings is a welcome sign and is needed badly in India in the present day context of materialistic and religiously divided world when economic and other considerations are supreme. I hope one remembers Hindi poem – ‘Jo bhara nahin hai bhavo se, jisme bahati rasdhar nahin; woh hridaya nahin patthar hai, jisme swadesh ka pyar nahi’. There was nationalism of Chandrashekhar Azad, Rajguru, Sukhdev, Bhagat Singh, Neta ji Subhash Chandra Bose and several others on the one hand and also was there the nationalism of Gandhi ji, Nehru, Sardar Patel, Maulana Azad and others on the other hand. When one is dealing with irrational, ruthless, and cruel adversary, which kind of nationalism is required, is a matter of debate.

    China’s economic rise is phenomenal. When I visited China the first time in 1989, the Beijing airport was a tin-shed structure, and there were no cars on the road in the city except for the Russian made ‘Lada’, which took us to our hotel and later to the Ministry of Agriculture. After 1989, I visited China almost every year until 2010. The transformation of a nation, I saw in the 20-year period, was mind- boggling. Of course, they employed all means – fair and foul – abated/promoted by the government to reach where they are today.

    The Chinese economic dominance can only be challenged by another economy by producing quality goods in an efficient and economic manner. In spite of being aware of poor quality of the Chinese products, poor people in developing countries go for the Chinese goods because of their low cost. The trade deficit with China is a matter of concern. India needs to focus and enhance areas where it has inherent strength and value addition. In areas, where it is weak, the government should provide policy and required infrastructure support. International collaboration and technology transfer are some of the mechanisms, which should be adopted with both developed and developing countries.

  4. Sir, in life too, there are no permanent friends or enemies only permanent interests! The outbreak of the Coronavirus in China has just highlighted how the best of man’s plans can go astray without any warning. It reminds me of the verse form the bible, “Many are the plans of a man’s heart but it is the Lord’s will that prevail.”

  5. In today’s flat world, there is no place of enmity but permanent interest is must.

    PM Modi has offered assistance to China in combating Corona virus as its spread to India will affect the growth of economy and will slow down the Make in India efforts.

    Import and Export will be affected leading to huge loss to investors.

    The signs from nature is very clear, If the human civilization wants to live and grow for a long period on this earth then the only way is to go green, go veg and show permanent interest in mutual growth or else a war or a virus like Corona will swipe out the whole planned cities of developed countries leading to collapse of world economy.

  6. It’s the impersonal interests that are enduring and of convergence, especially fir inter-state relations. People come and go or die; state or national interests stay on.

  7. Such a detailed account of the changing equations in a rapidly changing global scenario. Like they say…horses for courses. Given the present situation, countries will have to constantly re-assess their ties with other countries. Yesterday’s foes could be today’s allies. There is no room for bitterness or chest beating over the past. What is important is the present and how collaborating would serve all concerned.

    Thus, Lord Palmerston’s statement “no permanent friends, or permanent enemies, but only permanent interests” holds immense relevance in the present context. For now…

    Of course the ideal scenario would be “Only permanent friends, and only permanent Planetary and Collective interests”…that would really herald the era of “Vasudhaiv kutumbam”….the earth and all its children as One Family!!!

  8. The title reflects the modern times so well.

    Our civilization had its base grounded on making all decisions big or small on “what is aligned to Dharma vs what is not”. And the path of dharma was chosen irrespective of how many stood for it. However, times are different now. With democratic principles taking center stage, it is all about how many are in support of. Often those who vote (whether people in national context and nations in international context) do so with “whats in it for me” rather than objective analysis of “what is right vs wrong”. So an all-rounded positive strategy for all the nations need to be well thought of.

    Strong relations with US to counter balance China and its support for Pakistan. Base has to be trade / business.

    Respectful relationship with EU countries. Base can be standing together for environment, data privacy and so.

    Brotherly relationship with South Eastern and Far Eastern countries. Base can be culture & military support.

    Mutual give and take relationship with Oil producing nation in middle east to dilute their support for Pakistan and China. Base can be oil, trade and more.

    Ensuring those enemy nations having vested interests don’t get enough support in international forums is important. While Modi government has had decent success for last 6 years, there is always an opportunity to keep bettering.

  9. Very appropriate insight analysis…. Its good that India is also not busy in justifying the word friendship in true spirit. It’s time to think much beyond present. Very pleasing to know that present governance is moving in right direction.

  10. Astute observations made here, Sir!

    The US is looking India-ward, which indeed is an acknowledgment of our current leadership and the promise it holds for the country’s future.

    If international relations be about “permanent interests”, yes, China would be one interest; Defence, Trade, Investments and Tourism will be the others, roughly.

    My takeaways from your wrtiteup are:

    “The three powerful leaders of our times indeed have a great opportunity to make Planet Earth a better place to live for humanity.”

    And this: “It is important, however, to be clear about the limits of engagement between India and the United States against China, their common adversary..”

    As you rightly point out, Coronavirus has emerged as a threat to Chinese economy, and whose extent no one can imagine.
    For a period of time, the country did attained formidable material success. One does wonder, though, if the dreaded disease is Nature’s way of dealing with a country built solely by cruel subjugation of human rights!

    The US, too, has huge advancements in science, technology and development; yet, materialism has spread as a poison, undermining humanism.
    Look at their youth — the country has failed miserably in their upbringing, and clueless what to do about it.

    Someone once pointed out that it is for this reason that as an economy, they are dependent on doctors, tech-experts and academics from India!

    A challenge greater even than Climate Change, is the increasing Restlessness in society, near-Craziness, and tendencies to harm oneself and others.
    This is one `permanent interest’ where India has established record and potential to `save the world’.
    The US and the rest of the world have much to gain from India’s culture — and that includes its spirituality, arts and heritage, which include values and traditions.

    But before India can make this part of its diplomacy, we ourselves need some streamlining first. India and the US can be allies in this. The US is well-placed to help India restore respect for its culture, and some things that occur to me offhand are:

    a) By helping correct negative narratives in international academia and media;
    b) By investing in formal education in India, by helping structure, establish and manage Education institutions that include curated heritage and traditional components.

    This strikes to me as common sense right now; India must leverage its position, and the US can’t but understand the gravity of the situation.

  11. Respected Sir, Thank you for posting a wonderful write up on the recent visit of US President to our country. The politicians are forced to change the ways and ideologies, but they are not able to understand the problems of poor and common man. I feel that the politicians should adapt the humanitarian approach rather than economic approach. Yes Sir, I agree that there are no permanent enemies and permanent friends, but only the permanent interests. Historian EH Carr says, “History is a continuous dialogue between past, present and future.” Let’s hope these permanent interests will help the mankind on the earth and the history will be created. Its my pleasure to read your blog and the way you articulated the history, politics and economics in this post is amazing. Thank you Sir.

  12. The fastest crash course, I would say, to learn the international political games and frames …. Just few days ago I told my husband that we are going witnessing (Delhi riots) the consequences of blunder committed by Prithviraj Chauhan …. Well, you mentioned many of the other easily available blunders of history too….!!! What my note was that .. any person sitting on the chair of authority – whose decision can affect many lives – cannot afford to be blindly in love, not to be sooo… benevolent or too trusting to…!!!!! If nature has put throne on your head, you should not behave as a saint in saffron ….

    Well , that is history …. But have not we heard many a times that history repeats itself, if lesson is not learnt from it …..

    But, honestly, the connectivity, the consumerism and the nationalistic mindset have grown on the soil exploitation (of mind, time , resources) …. Can it grow with deep roots and sweet fruits ??? I doubt …. !!!!

  13. Very to the point observations. Indian markets are ruled by Chinese products and we import USD 50 billion worth of goods every year in excess of what we export to China. Unfortunately I don not see any serious effort being made in this direction. Most of our business people are profit mongers. They give a damn to the national interests. The timing of Delhi violence was clearly anti-national. It is a pity that our leaders can’t see the evil designs of India’s enemies.

  14. Sir very rightly pointed out that there is no permanent friends in this materialistic world only thing is permanent between the countries is their self interest. To compete with the largest economy India must plan for long term vision. Make in India is one of them. What china visualised forty years ego we are conceptualising today that’s why China is known as world factory today.

    To grow and give employment to such a large population India must be the manufacturing hub in the world in next fifteen-twenty years. It must be the top agenda in any trade deal.

  15. This article presents a very incisive analysis of geopolitical interests of India in relation to other international powers.

    The modern India possesses soft as well as hard power in the international arena. Our democratic values and the cultural heritage constitute our major source of strength. Many Indian-born technologists and academicians are playing important roles in shaping the future of the US. Both the countries have come to recognize the importance of each other.

    Therefore the friendship between the US and India has a sound footing and will grow in future. This friendship is good for peace and progress in the world.

  16. Shri Arun Tiwari ji, I have gone through your blog which sumps up well the politics of today. To a great extent I agree with your views. My only reservation is that National interests should not be compromised by handful big corporate houses which have bigger investments overseas and they decide with which country India should walk an extra mile. Indian Economy is agriculture based and eighty percent rural population needs better crops and reasonable procurement price in order to keep interest of farmers protected. Huge spendings on arms and mega arm-deals with big nations may win favours for the government but it deprives billions of Indians below poverty line support. It’s true there are no permanent friends or Enemies in today’s political world. US backed Taliban to counter Russians in Afghanistan now look at the emerging scenario Americans extending a friendship deal just to facilitate withdrawal of their forces before Presidential Election. Now curious to see if Indian forces at the suggestion of US move to Afghanistan to fill in the void. If it happens, it will lead to many problems on our western border. Similarly in South China sea, if India actively joins hand with US against China, only time will tell who took the advantage. Now India’s centuries old friendship and trade with Iran is under threat from US. How long India will withstand just to be seen.

  17. Bhaisaab must appreciate your insight analysis of current international politics. India has to be very careful while choosing between friends and permanent friends. There is no permanent friendship in international politics. We must not fight the back stabbing by China in 60s when Nehru was the PM. Trump may be using India as card to win the second term. India must respond cautiously as rightly said we must not forget the time tested friend Russia. Very well written.

  18. Thank you Sir for the insightful post on the current political matters around the world. As you rightly pointed out, in the last 30 years China has amassed immense wealth and has become a rival of the USA. But, as times are changing, India and US need to strengthen their ties.The latest US$3 billion US-Indian arms deal is partly motivated by their shared desire to check China’s strategic desires. But, Prime Minister Modi also understands that in order to be a real independent big country, he shouldn’t take either sides to China, Russia, or the US, when dealing with the three big superpowers. So yes, it can be rightly said that there lies a  permanent interest and not permanent friends or enemies and you can only look forward to what holds the permanent interest between US and India as they extend their hands of friendship towards each other.

  19. Irony abounds at this uncertain moment in human history. The first irony is that President Trump has consistently measured his success by the apparently never-ending rise in the U.S. stock market, before last week up 60 percent since the date of his election. However, last week, the Dow-Jones index dropped 14%, and the U.S. stock market has lost one-third of the value it had gained since the date of Trump’s election. So it is ironic indeed that the banner Trump had constantly raised as a barometer of his success has now been draped around his neck as a big-time albatross. In fairness, this was not all due to the coronavirus. Stocks were overpriced, priced to perfection, and the coronavirus merely gave many investors an excuse to exit the markets for a while.

    The second irony is that Trump has constantly assailed globalism, and yet the spread of coronavirus, largely due to the globalist impulse to travel, may bring his presidency to an end.

    The third irony on the U.S. side is that the Democrats were poised to nominate Bernie Sanders as the party’s presidential candidate in 2020, probably the only major Democratic party candidate who can’t beat Trump. But the coronavirus and the economic catastrophe it has created in the United States now opens the door to other presidential candidates such as Joe Biden and Michael Bloomberg.

    A final irony on the U.S. side is that Trump’s success in politics has been based, in large, on his habit of living in a fact-free, anti-science, zone. Witness his rejection of climate change and his dismissal of the coronavirus as a Democratic “hoax.” The Washington Post has catalogued 15,000 lies and/or misrepresentations that he has made since being elected in 2016. So now when he opines on the coronavirus crisis he is generally not believed. For example, he has assured the U.S. public that warm weather in spring will kill the virus. While that may have been true with other viruses there is no evidence that that will be the case with the coronavirus.

    Yet another irony is that the coronavirus black swan has also derailed, at least for the first two quarters of this year, an ascendant-China challenging the United States as top dog in the world economy.. The irony here is that the virus spread rapidly in large part because doctors who initially reported the coronavirus were arrested and forced to sign confessions admitting that they were creating “false rumors.” The suppression of free expression in China, ironically, created in large part the disaster that it is now attempting to suppress. And, since China has not delivered crucial information to the WHO, it, like Trump, is not believed when it reports of the status of the coronavirus epidemic.

    A weakened China presents a great opportunity for the United States and India to deepen its alliance. Both sides should work towards a Free Trade Agreement. But this has to be a comprehensive agreement that covers trade in goods, services, and capital. Otherwise, we will be nibbled to death by ducks whining about this dairy or that widget concession that should or should not be granted. To achieve this Mode has to embrace trade liberalization, the quid for him being unlimited access to the United States for India’s intellectual talent. In today’s digital world, the United States and India are natural partners, cooperation on cybersecurity being an obvious example. On the defense side, India should continue to reduce its reliance on armaments from Russia, and seek partnerships with U.S. defense manufacturers. Lord Palmerston had it right: it is now up to Mode and Trump to act on the permanent interests of their countries–which in both cases involves the containment of China.

  20. Yes there are only ‘permanent interests’ and some how India will find it difficult, no matter how hard the present political dispensation tries, to be on the permanent friend book of the USA. It has been tried in the past but we do not learn from history. China did not become factory of the world in one day. India had this opportunity open for last 4/5 years when Chinese factories started shifting their bases to Vietnam and other countries…but not to India. Why??

    Our damn bureaucracy. For a small and medium scale manufacturing business it is so difficult to fight all the time 20-25 inspectors who are all out to extort money and torture. Govt. will come and go but the ground level problems will prevail.

    It has become very fashionable to shout nationalism and telling people to not to buy Chinese goods whenever festive season come. But do we introspect that why are we so dependent on bulk drugs import from China- the issue being highlighted due to Caronavirus. It used to be other way round. India was a major bulk drug and generics exporter. Where do we have leadership position now? Even IT is not a very firm footing anymore.

  21. Even interests are not permanent. They also keep on changing according to changing situations. As the people of the world are coming closer and closer, they are becoming more and more sensitive to the thought process of others and decide newer strategies for their benefit. In this process, sometimes even the interests of people and the people in power may clash.

  22. Arunji, I appreciate the way you capture and connect multiple issues and topics. Very well wriiten. Permanent interests only lead to various collaborations

  23. Thank you very much sir for the insightful post on the world diplomatic policies and also on the realiationships between the trinity of the world powers India-China and US.

    Indeed sir, there may not be permanent friends or permanent enemies, but as rightly pointed about you, the US is indeed moving towards a friendship with India that can be as close to permanent as can be. The Chinese dragon has become wary of the Indian Elephant and appears keen to avoid any direct confrontation with India while the USA under their current president Trump have indicated their direct displeasure with China’s blatant disregard of the spirit of the WTO’s, indicating a drift away form China.

    An interesting destiny awaits India but the challenges too are great. Thank you very much for observing and sharing the play of the world forces for all of us to know

  24. This is truly a timely reflection Prof Tiwari.
    Of a truth moving with the world current is a thing most nations have to put up with, keeping pace with fast swimmers is a choice, The SubContinent seem decided and the race is just heating up, what is required is deliberate momentum buildup to sustain or even enhance the race. Whether these efforts will make India a formidable player or not, its not a question of if but of when! Truly stated “in international relations, there are no permanent friends, or permanent enemies, but only permanent interests!”

  25. We are definitely getting closer to US to contain China. This seems to be a common interest of India and USA. This can be right time to nail the hammer as China’s economy is down with coronavirus attack. We should work day and night to up our infrastructure and industries to capture the void in market created by downfall of China.

    We should surely get benefitted by our new relations with USA but should not forget our tried and tested ally Russia. This is the right time to gain a status as third centre of power beside USA and China.

  26. It is indeed true that all actions by an Individual as well as a Country or any entity are largely driven by self interest only. However powerful a Country is or feels, there is always a counter balancing force of some kind. GOD IS ALL DOER and does not allow anyone to get away with the world’s welfare. Otherwise, after the Cold war USA may have done what they wished.

    The present Government in India is doing well to position India in a strategic way while trying to maintain relations with all countries. Corona Virus although a very sad thing will have a far reaching consequences on the world order too. In some respect it could be a blessing in disguise for a lot of areas and a few Countries too. Let us pray that the World suffer minimum casualty and that the World learns its lessons from it. MAY GOD GUIDES US ALL

  27. No permanent friends, or permanent enemies; only permanent interests for either Survival or dominance would be new order of diplomacy, relationships and alliances. With Cornovirus the permanency of things, increasingly unpredictable scale of such instances is not restricted to health sector alone but global economic & social impacts may be more disastrous.

    In my opinion the governments at large around the world have reached a level of so many unknowns and impending threats that we now have no understanding of what can trigger what. One can be a spectator or adopt ‘hit & trial’ methods to seek solutions.The time taken to find a solution , seek a network or redifining new political alliances would be more important to crisis manage!

    The nationalist inclinations of governments and people is more to secure themselves and create an identity so even when you fail you have a consolation and claim non failure. There always would remain undercurrents and with technology social media can be more dominant or exploitable. I am purposely not commenting on equation with China, US, Pakistan and India as what I feel that every thing mentioned above is apparently visible.

  28. Congratulations on hitting the bull’s s eye sir. Probably the time has come when we can and should converse, articulate and try moulding public opinion.

    Tribalism, the fuelling of nationalistic feelings and consumption-driven happiness are hollow and unsustainable in the long run. In the short term, these are imposing unnatural division and miseries to the people. Your equating our current national obsession on citizenship issues with burying head in the sand is too apt. What a waste of time and resources when it may be possible to use the global opportunity to eliminate poverty and improve the environment?

  29. No world leader has revived the kind of welcome President Trump got in Ahmedabad. No world leader spoke so friendly about India as President Trump. When President Trump told that PM Modi is a tough negotiator, it was the highest praise any leader of a nation get. India have been known as a big but weak country. For most of the people it is indeed difficult to imagine even today that India can be a strong country. I like this line most “Can India partner with Japan and Australia as U.S. allies to keep China at bay? Or, do we bury our head in the sand, and keep debating over citizenship even after seven decades of our nationhood?”

  30. How India demonstrated its friendship with China during ongoing Corona virus outbreak and also, how it welcomed POTUS. This hopefully is somewhat an indication that the current leadership is following permanent interest for India. “what-ifs” scenarios really blew my mind.

  31. This is indeed a thorough and wise analysis, putting the challenges facing us clear in context.

  32. Sir, Your article is a well-articulated fact of information on the world order. Politics, Economics and Diplomacy will change by the time and people and World History tells this to us. As an Indian, my wish is that my country should be a place where everyone can live coherently and peacefully. Sir, You are doing a great job. Thank you. God bless.

  33. Sir, You have very accurate brought out that nation’s interest must be basis of all policy. But the problem is that India is yet to sort the problem of what it is as a nation. The way violence was carried out exactly when Preside Trump arrived tells that there are people who wants India to remain as a chaotic country and divided society. I was little disturbed to hear media telling that India will allow dairy products import from America. But nothing like that happen. PM stood firm on national interests.

  34. Very well articulated analysis of recent US president’s visit. You have very correctly brought out the complexities that go behind the screen of such visits. It is indeed inevitable that India and US join hands together to check the forces that are out to disrupt the rule-based order and democratic form of governance. I was personally very happy when inspite of great pressure from the US, India did not buckle and deferred trade deal. Also, the timing of Delhi violence with the landing of President Trump in New Delhi, left nothing to imagination. Indians have to make a choice whether to continue as a laggard country or join the league of big nations, as China has already done most successfully.

  35. Nothing is permanent. Everything is situational and contextual… What is apt today is only a reality. Past can be a guide. . But future’s destiny and deliverables are products of today’s decisions taken in right earnest by people who matter most.

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