Indians have a ‘favourable’ view of Trump presidency, Japan and China don’t: Study
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Indians have a ‘favourable’ view of Trump presidency, Japan and China don’t: Study

If India has a more positive view, the Japanese have the most pessimistic opinion about the Trump presidency.

india Updated: Sep 05, 2017 12:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Donald Trump,US India ties,Indians' view of Trump
US President Donald Trump talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as they attend a working session during the G20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany.(AFP Photo)

A study said Indians have a more optimistic view of Donald Trump’s presidency and believe the US’ role in the Indian and Pacific region will be ‘favourable’, The Hindu reported on Tuesday.

Former Australian defence minister Stephen Smith, who released the study in New Delhi, said India has contrary views to the other Indo-Pacific nations surveyed by the institute. Japan, South Korea, Australia, Indonesia and China believe that the American influence in the region has reduced since Trump took charge earlier this year, said Smith.

“There’s no doubt that the rise of the Trump presidency has seen a diminution of the US influence in the rest of Asia. On the other hand, if you look at the US through the eyes of India, it is the most robust country in its view of US influence. In terms of our results, Indians take a very positive view of the current position of the US and of its future role here,” Smith told The Hindu .

The study, which surveyed public opinion on US role in the Indo-Pacific region, was conducted in six countries by the Australian think-tank, Perth US Asia Centre.

If India has a more positive view, the Japanese who are close allies of the US have the most pessimistic opinion about the Trump presidency. Most other countries said China was likely to have a greater impact on Asia’s future.

“India is really an outlier, on every question they have a more optimistic view of the United States as compared with even allies like Japan, Australia and Korea. Japanese who are the closest allies were very pessimistic that the US has its best days behind it. In India, 61% say they are ahead,” said CEO of the Perth US Asia Centre Gordon Flake.

Trump’s presidency, however, has evoked mixed reactions among Indians in America. While there is support within their neighbourhoods, and often outrage against the ‘tell them to go home’ attitudes surfacing in pockets of the country, the sense of being different and standing out in a crowd has heightened since the start of the Trump administration.

“I have become acutely aware of my skin colour in the last few months, after the rise of alleged hate crimes against Indians and Indians mistaken for ‘Arabs’,” an Indian student in Washington DC, Sushovan Sircar told HT in July.

Trump, in his campaign speeches ahead of the election, had promised policies that focus on ‘America First’. The administration has introduced curbs and tougher criteria for issuing H1-B visas -- a programme used for hiring foreign workers in the IT sector, which could hit many Indian companies and employees in the US.

But Indians were more likely to see Trump coming down heavily on Pakistan for providing “safe haven” to terrorists favourably. Trump said in an address last month the US “can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens” and that American policy in South Asia and Afghanistan will change dramatically. He warned about the “threat” of conflict between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan if terrorism wasn’t thwarted and said America has to further develop its strategic partnership with India.

The survey found that Indians also believed a conflict between India and Pakistan was more likely as opposed to other nations, who said it would be between North and South Korea.

First Published: Sep 05, 2017 12:04 IST