On India-US ties, S Jaishankar's 'not merely clearing obstacles' remarks at HTLS 2023
S Jaishankar said in Clinton era, US enjoyed a more geopolitical position. Its strategic thinking focused less on the need for balance in international ties.
Today, India is much more ambitious than it was two decades ago and the H1B visa brought India to a certain zone of awareness and understanding in the US, minister of external affairs minister S Jaishankar said at the 21st edition of Hindustan Times Leadership Summit on Saturday.
“A combination of things is driving the India-US partnership and the factors that have evolved over the passage of time. Let's take 2000 as a comparative year. What changed over the decade leading up to 2000? The honest answer is H1B visas. It was the H1B visa that suddenly brought India to a certain zone of awareness and understanding in the US,” he said in a conversation with HT editor-in-chief R Sukumar.
Jaishankar also noted that during the Clinton era, the United States enjoyed a more s geopolitical position. At that time, American strategic thinking focused less on the need for balance in international relations.
“During the Clinton era, the US was geopolitically in a stronger position. It was a strong, unipolar world where the US saw engaging with India which were acceptable to India. Some of it was human connect and some of it was values connect. In that era, we were betting on our potential,” Jaishankar said.
“In the nuclear deal era, and thereafter, you have the US trying to reshape the world and looking for new partners of a long-term substance. We are in a different era for a variety of reasons. We were earlier essentially clearing obstacles on how to work with them. Now, it's much more ambitious. And part of it is India's capability has grown,” Jaishankar said.
Jaishankar also emphasised that India's role has evolved from merely clearing obstacles in its relationship with the US to a more ambitious position.
"In the last three or four years, what has come into play is in the AI domain, chip. If India gets into smart manufacturing, we have much more to offer to the world, not just to the US," he said.