The biggest spectacle or the Game of Thrones between the current President of the USA and his opponent Joe Biden has begun in the form of US Presidential elections 2020. The world has its eyeballs set on the nail-biting fight as to who will occupy the White House for the next four years.
The relationship with the United States of America matters to India and it has more dimensions than any other bilateral engagement: economically, strategically, and socially. Will there be a Trump 2.0 or will Joe Biden’s bet pay off? No matter what the verdict is, it will have far-reaching implications across the globe. But what does it mean for over 135 crore Indians?
Indian diaspora is one of the most dominant communities in the States today and if an Indian is a green card holder then he/she is eligible to vote too and that is why both the presidential candidates are trying their best to woo them.
Joe Biden seems to have plotted his move very carefully by naming Kamla Harris as the Vice-presidential candidate. She is seasoned and a prominent voice in the Republican party and the Indians seem to be happy about the fact that someone who shares the same ancestry has made it to the top-notch position in the USA. She is also very vocal about adopting a softer stand on the H-1B visa policy and by speaking in support of native Kashmiri Pandits.
With the blooming exports and imports, defense deals, and stand on China, US elections are going to have a far-reaching impact on India-USA diplomatic ties. The contentious issues are H-1B visa restrictions, US immigration policies, ban on GSP benefits, limited market access to name a few. In 2020, there is also a frightening prospect of a powerful, belligerent, and hegemonic China which is also an important factor playing its role in the India-USA ties.
If we carefully analyze Mr. Biden’s political campaign then he is more in favor of the interests of the native Americans rather than Indian-Americans. If elected he is going to face local issues first such as restoring the American democracy, its core values, and then on the foreign arenas such as diplomacy with various countries including India. While on the other hand, Mr. Trump has been helpful towards India but recently he has brought a storm with his immigration policies and even more recently by his remarks that the air in India is “filthy”. This has definitely caused a big dent in his image in the eyes of Indians.
The face of the US president will also influence the China factor and India’s China policy also. Both Joe Biden and Donald Trump understand the grave threat from China, but the response from them may vary. While Trump 2.0 can be expected to be willing to more aggressive against China, Biden is likely to follow a policy of “Congagement”: containment with engagement.
Be it, Donald Trump or Biden, India is closely watching the developments. Accordingly, India would keep its diplomatic options open to twisting the tale if the Democrats reach the White House. Moreover, with the kind of tension going on at the Indo-Tibetan border, any diplomatic mistake may ruin all the makeup that India could achieve in the past 4 months.