The incredible Delhi-DC embrace – Hindustan Times

The incredible Delhi-DC embrace - Hindustan Times

Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States (US) this week is set to make history. Bound by the shared anxieties over China’s belligerence, deep people-to-people links, and economic and technological synergies, New Delhi and Washington DC are ready to break free from the shackles of the past. If Bill Clinton’s 2000 visit to India is seen as giving birth to a new chapter in bilateral ties, PM Modi’s visit in 2023 will mark the coming of age of the relationship as both take the tough adult decisions needed to build a better future.

Thousands of Indian Americans will gather on the south lawns of the White House when Mr Modi is accorded a State welcome on June 22, (HT File)

On the ceremonial front, thousands of Indian Americans will gather on the south lawns of the White House when Mr Modi is accorded a State welcome on June 22, becoming only the third Indian leader to be given this honour. He will become the first leader of independent India, and only the fifth in US history, to get an opportunity to address the US Congress more than once. Mr Modi and President Joe Biden will spend hours together, at a private event in White House, during bilateral and one-on-one talks, at the State dinner, and possibly at a tech event. Mr Modi will also attend a lunch hosted by vice president Kamala Harris and speak at an event with Jill Biden.

But it is on the substantive front that the relationship will see real breakthroughs. The US system deserves credit for delivering on its promise to approve a GE jet engine manufacturing deal in India, while the Indian system deserves credit for moving ahead with the acquisition of 31 Predator drones. Both sides will focus on boosting ties between their defence startups. On space, they will intensify cooperation. In semiconductors, expect not just a big Micron announcement to set up a plant but also a push by other American companies to train thousands of Indian engineers; in telecom, expect a quick deployment of open radio access network (ORAN) to build 5G and 6G technologies. The US may ease life for H1B visa holders by allowing for domestic reissuance of these visas within the US. All of this will deepen ties, lock Indian and American national security states into a tighter embrace, and provide more opportunities for

Indian and American businesses. It will help build Indian economic, strategic and technological capabilities and give the US a stronger partner in the region that will be central to peace and security in the 21st century.

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