India is entering a “high light moment”?

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Source: wechat official account: buyidao has been authorized to reprint

Pen / Sword smile & amp; Dadao sister & amp; Little tiger knife

In the next ten days, India will enter a diplomatic cycle and make frequent moves.

From September 5 to 6, India will host the meeting of senior officials of the “Quartet security dialogue” between the United States, Japan, India and Australia.

From September 5 to 10, India’s minister of Commerce will travel to the United States to participate in bilateral trade negotiations and attend the ministerial meeting of the “India Pacific economic framework”.

On September 8, Indian Foreign Minister Su Jiesheng and Defense Minister Singh will travel to Tokyo to participate in the India Japan “2 + 2” meeting.

From September 15 to 16, Indian Prime Minister Narendra modi will go to Uzbekistan to attend the SCO Samarkand summit.

In addition to being more active on the international stage, India’s economy has also recently received some “bright news”: in the second quarter, the growth rate was 13.5%, ranking first among G20 countries; It has steadily overtaken the United Kingdom and become the world’s fifth largest economy; There are even reports that India will overtake Japan to become the third largest economy in seven years.

Although India’s domestic high inflation is difficult to solve and the global economic situation is unpredictable, finance minister sitaraman is still full of confidence: “the possibility of India’s economy falling into recession is zero!”

Then, how should we view India’s series of diplomatic and economic performances and New Delhi’s increasingly strong “great power ambition”?

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During the quad meeting, officials from participating countries will assess the progress of specific projects proposed by the initiative, including six working groups on COVID-19 response and global health security, climate, key and emerging technologies, networks, space and infrastructure.

The food and energy crisis aggravated by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine will also be the theme of the meeting. What is embarrassing is that India, the host, is the only member of the four countries that has not followed western countries in imposing sanctions on Russia.

The officials sent by the United States this time are Donald Lu, assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, and Camille Dawson, Deputy Assistant Secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs. They are not of low rank.

During the quadripartite meeting, the United States and India will also take this opportunity to hold a “2 + 2” closed door meeting. Erie Ratner, assistant secretary of the US Department of defense responsible for Indian Pacific security affairs, who was a long-term aide of Biden, will attend.

This shows that the United States attaches importance to India.

The US side said that this meeting will discuss how the United States and India can expand cooperation. The US side will help India fully realize its economic potential and become the core hub of the global supply chain in the next 25 years.

As for the upcoming IPEF ministerial meeting, it is the first ministerial level face-to-face meeting since the United States announced the launch of the framework in May. The goal is to reach an agreement on starting formal negotiations in trade and supply chain.

Countries can choose from the four projects of trade, supply chain, infrastructure and decarbonization, taxation and anti-corruption to participate in the consultation and strive to officially announce their entry into the negotiations.

One of the concerns of this meeting is whether or not we can reach an agreement on the high level required by the United States in the digital field.

The next Japan India “2 + 2” talks will be the second such talks between the two countries since 2019.

According to Indian media reports, the two sides will discuss ways to seek cooperation in key areas such as defense, emerging technologies and joint military exercises.

Expanding cooperation in defense and security will be the focus of the talks. Specifically, the two countries should further consult on how to provide goods and services to each other between their forces, and how to conduct joint training between the Japanese self defense forces and the Indian army.

The “2 + 2” talks mechanism between Japan and India began in 2019 and was last held in November 2019.

The “2 + 2” talks between foreign ministers and defense ministers are a high-level and symbolic political communication mechanism between the two countries. At present, India has only held “2 + 2” talks with Japan, the United States, Australia, Russia and a few other countries.

Before the SCO summit, India was skilled in dancing and moving frequently in the diplomatic circles of the United States and the west, and its intention to move closer to the United States and the West was expressed in words. Therefore, it was interpreted by the foreign media as part of the “balancing action” before New Delhi participated in the SCO summit, that is, to “hand over the name” to the United States and the West.

Behind this series of seemingly dazzling meetings, is it a piece of iron gradually built up, or is it a small abacus with different ideas?

In fact, earlier this year, Indian media reported that the “2 + 2” talks between Japan and India were planned to be held in April, but they were postponed repeatedly due to differences in the positions of the two countries on Russia.

Indian Foreign Minister Su Jiesheng has stated publicly on many occasions that the “Quartet” mechanism is not aimed at opposing a certain country, and India does not need the approval of other countries to carry out diplomatic activities.

As for the “Indo Pacific economic framework”, India has always opposed the inclusion of labor and environmental standards in trade agreements, followed its unique policy framework in cross-border data flow, data localization and data privacy, and was unwilling to adopt the digital trade standards of the United States. India will not accept decarbonization targets that may run counter to the contents of the Paris Agreement.

If the United States imposes the above factors as a common goal, it will become a major obstacle to the promotion of IPEF.

Moreover, the US mid-term elections are coming, and it is almost impossible for IPEF to make effective progress before that.

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In addition to the diplomatic arena, India has also intensively heard some economic news in recent days.

First, the Indian government announced the economic data of the second quarter: a year-on-year growth of 13.5%, ranking first among G20 countries.

However, some international institutions are more worried about this. Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Moody’s and other institutions have reduced India’s GDP growth this year. Citigroup lowered its forecast from 8% to 6.7%, Goldman Sachs from 7.2% to 7%, Moody’s from 8.8% to 7.7%

The unfavorable factors facing India’s economy are obvious: high inflation that is difficult to ease, high global commodity prices, and gloomy prospects for world economic growth.

The State Bank of India even bluntly said, “don’t be happy with this remarkable growth figure of GDP”. Although it was a double-digit growth, it was lower than expected, and the manufacturing industry only grew by 4.8% in this quarter.

Of course, this kind of sound was soon overshadowed by more eye-catching news two days later.

According to the latest data of the International Monetary Fund, India has surpassed the former suzerainty Britain to become the fifth largest economy in the world. Moreover, India’s leading edge over Britain will be further expanded this year.

While excited, some Indians are also slightly dissatisfied: this should have happened long ago.

Basu, who served as India’s chief economic adviser from 2009 to 2012, said that 10 years ago, “we expect that India’s GDP will surpass that of the United Kingdom by 2020, because India’s population and per capita income will grow faster”.

Basu attributed the Indian economy’s Surpassing of the UK to the previous Rao Government and Singh government. The Indian economy “has made rapid progress since 1994 and faster growth since 2005, which is inevitable, although it has slowed sharply since 2016”.

He also hinted that the modi government was just a coincidence, like “there is always the last leg in a winning relay race”.

On September 4, the Economic Research Department of the National Bank of India made a more “bright” prediction: India will surpass Germany in five years’ time, that is, in 2027, and may surpass Japan at the current growth rate in 2029, seven years later. At that time, India will become the third largest economy in the world after the United States and China.

This forecast mentions that India’s GDP growth this year is estimated to be between 6.7% and 7.7%, “we firmly believe that it does not matter”, because “in an uncertain world, 6% to 6.5% growth will be the new normal”. The State Bank of India used this optimism as evidence that Apple plans to move part of the production of its flagship iPhone 14 to India. This move by the most famous science and technology innovation company in the past two centuries “will be followed by other large international enterprises”.

“The possibility of India’s economy falling into recession is zero!”

On the same day, Indian Finance Minister sitaraman simply expressed his full confidence that India’s economy will achieve double-digit growth this year. She believed that compared with other countries, India’s economic development is “in a favorable position”.

I think of the timetable set by Indian Prime Minister Narendra modi: “we must turn India into a developed country in the next 25 years, in our lifetime.”

In this way, is it not a dream for India to become a developed country in 2047?

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How do you view India’s recent economic and diplomatic performance?

A scholar on South Asian issues said that India’s GDP exceeded that of the United Kingdom this time, and one of the gimmicks that international public opinion paid more attention to was that its GDP exceeded that of the former sovereign state.

From the perspective of economic volume alone, as early as 2018 and 2019, when the British brexit led to the fall of the British pound exchange rate, India’s GDP measured by international institutions at that time had exceeded that of the United Kingdom. Only later, the Indian economy suffered some setbacks and the data fell. Now according to the latest statistics of the IMF, India’s overtaking of the United Kingdom is relatively stable both in terms of volume and future growth.

This economic performance has undoubtedly given great encouragement to the ruling BJP and Indian society.

Compared with its economic achievements, in terms of diplomacy, since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, India has generally remained neutral. On the one hand, it calls on the parties involved in the conflict to cease fire and negotiate; The other part does not choose sides, and nobody will offend. In fact, this is also in line with India’s diplomatic tradition, leading to further expansion of India’s diplomatic space.

This scholar believes that under the current tense international situation, India has gained a large space for activities: on the one hand, it is the BRICs mechanism and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization; on the other hand, it is the quadrilateral mechanism and widely participates in relevant G7 meetings and consultations; On the one hand, it conducted joint exercises with the United States, Australia and other countries, and on the other hand, it participated in the “dongfang-2022” joint military exercise.

One of the main reasons why India can do this is that in the current international environment, it has become a force with considerable influence.

The United States has strictly implemented the standards for countries including European allies in its sanctions against Russia, but it has to give India a free hand. This of course first exposes the double standard of the United States. By accommodating India, the United States values that India may help the United States contain and confront China in the Asia Pacific region. Considering India’s potential value in the US “India Pacific strategy”, the United States is “grasping the main contradictions” and giving India the “green light” on the issue of Russia.

In fact, this also shows that India has always been the short board of the “Indo Pacific strategy” that the United States is worried about. It is not because India is not strong enough, but because India has traditionally shown some diplomatic independence, which makes the United States worry that India can not play the role it expects in containing China.

The scholar added that another point is that the United States has turned a blind eye to India on the Russian Ukrainian issue, which shows that Washington does not consider New Delhi a decisive variable in the Russian Ukrainian conflict.

It is obvious that India has also grasped this mentality of the United States. Therefore, while “disobeying” Washington, it also often shows a certain attitude of cooperation, such as the relevant meetings of the “four party security dialogue” to be held tomorrow and the relevant meetings between India, the United States, India and Japan.

How should we view India’s increasingly strong “great power ambition” in the economic and diplomatic fields?

It is necessary to be vigilant against the thinking of “relying on the United States to control China” shown by some strategic elites in India, and to strengthen reminders and communication about India’s short-sightedness of allowing the border issue to affect the overall situation of China India relations. At the same time, it is also necessary to see that India objectively needs to control and maintain the healthy development of China India relations while achieving the goal of becoming a big country.

An obvious reality is that if India, a big developing country, wants to “become a developed country” and achieve long-term economic stability and good development, a good surrounding security environment is essential. The advantages of cooperation with China, a huge market and economic and trade partner, outweigh the disadvantages.

This is also the reason behind the Indian senior officials’ recent statements of “jointly creating the Asian century” while continuing to release their tough stance on the border issue. This shows that India still has a strong willingness to cooperate in its relations with China, and the two sides also have common aspirations for reforming the Western led international order.

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