Trump’s Trip to India Could Be His Most Important Foreign Policy Visit Yet
Published in The Washington Post
on February 24, 2020
President Trump’s whirlwind trip to India is much more than a photo op in front of the Taj Mahal. It’s a calculated effort to deepen U.S. ties with the only nation that can serve as an Asian counterweight to China.
India is a massive country with massive potential. It is already the second-most populous nation in the world and will surpass China around 2027. Its economy, already the fifth largest, has been growing at close to 7 percent since 2003. It is already a global power.
Unlike China, India is also a country with deep democratic traditions. It has, with a brief exception in the late 1970s, been a democracy since independence in 1947. The media is free and political competition is vibrant, with frequent changes in power at the national and state level. Far from a one-party state creating a techno-totalitarian “harmonious society,” India is a country with many languages, religions and ethnicities. It is often chaotic, but its differences help preserve its freedom.
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Henry Olsen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.