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A More Global Partnership?

Author: Evan A. Feigenbaum
October 4, 2010
Business Standard


In so many ways, India has burst the boundaries of South Asia. It is an Asian power and a global player. Its footprint extends west to the Persian Gulf, south to Africa, and especially east to Pacific Asia. India has enlarged its seat at the top tables of international relations, including the G20 and the Financial Stability Board. And with its new voting power in the World Bank, India's share now exceeds that of Russia, Canada, Australia, Italy, and Saudi Arabia.

So, why is America's dialogue with India less global in scope than with any major power, even China? As US President Barack Obama prepares to visit India next month, the two sides would do well to define the parameters of a more global, and thus more strategic, US-India partnership.

Doing so would nicely complement an important trend in India's foreign policy — New Delhi's expanded focus beyond India's own neighbourhood, especially in East Asia.

The two sides have established some new dialogues in recent months, including a timely and important exchange on East Asia and China. But the ultimate test won't be how many meetings the two governments hold but whether they turn common interests into complementary policies around the world.

And the record, unfortunately, is mixed.

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