Former Ambassador delivers lecture on India-United States relations

The India-United States situation depends a lot on the Indo-China situation as well as the situation in Afghanistan. India does not want the U.S. and China to go to war, neither does the country want them to form a strong alliance.

India apprehensive

For Afghanistan, if the situation becomes much worse and it becomes a security threat to India, India may have to concentrate more on the West than on the East, said Former Ambassador of India to Laos and Visiting Research Professor from the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore, S.D. Muni.

Delivering his lecture on the “U.S. rebalancing strategy and India’s role,” Mr. Muni said India was apprehensive about the U.S.-China relationship even as trade with China was expected to reach $100 billion by 2015. As a result, they were carefully watching the situation before making a decision.

Another fear is that the U.S. will have defence presence in neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Although India had a number of advantages from a positive relationship with the U.S., they must be wary to ensure that the U.S.’s influence is not overwhelming, he said.

The U.S. needed India, with its strategy of extricating itself from Iraq and Afghanistan and to “rebalance” its position in the Asia-Pacific region. It needed India because of its economic growth and strategic position in the Indian Ocean and Malacca Strait areas.

India’s international relations, however, would depend on India’s growth, military modernisation and political stability. If, for example, the polity was fragmented, it would be impossible for India to have a robust foreign policy.

Professor Muni was delivering the lecture as part of his two-day lecture series at the UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Institute of South Asia Regional Cooperation (UMISARC) on Wednesday and Thursday. He delivered lectures titled “Random thoughts on issues involved in Research Methodology,” “The U.S. rebalancing strategy and India’s role” and “India’s look-East policy and challenges before SAARC.”