Modi-Trump joint statement: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and United States President Donald Trump wrapped up quite a successful summit and the statement issued on June 25 reflects positives stemming from the meet. A number of notable things mark it out. For one, it is more crisp and concise than the India-US joint statements previously issued under the Barack Obama administration, reported the Indian Express. The statement issued collectively after the meeting of PM Modi and Trump is 1499 words long, much shorter than its preceding statements that ranged from 3752 words in 2016, the lengthy 5688 words in 2015, and 3446 words in 2014. In fact, this year’s statement is much shorter than the average length of 4000 words. Here is a look at what the joint statement covered and what it didn’t.
Nuclear: The statement mentions the Westinghouse Electric Company, a nuclear power company which has become bankrupt. The joint statement said, “Prime Minister Modi and President Trump looked forward to the conclusion of contractual agreements between Westinghouse Electric Company and the Nuclear Power Corporation of India for six nuclear reactors in India and also related project financing.”
Globalisation: There was no mention of the US H1-B visa which was set to be reform under Trump’s new policies regarding ‘Buy American, Hire American’. “Applauding the entrepreneurship and innovation of Indians and Indian-Americans that have directly benefitted both nations, President Trump welcomed India’s formal entry into the International Expedited Traveler Initiative (global entry programme) in order to facilitate closer business and educational ties.”
Pakistan and terror: According to the Indian Express, this is the first time the joint statement talked about cross-border terrorism. It said, “The leaders called on Pakistan to ensure that its territory is not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries. They further called on Pakistan to expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai, Pathankot, and other cross-border terrorist attacks perpetrated by Pakistan-based groups.”
Trade: The joint statement mentioned free and fair trade, unlike its predecessors. It said, ““Noting that extensive economic and tax reforms launched in their respective countries will unlock immense economic opportunities for both countries, the leaders committed to further expanding and balancing the trade relationship and to remove obstacles to growth and jobs creation…
“They also resolved to pursue increased commercial engagement in a manner that advances the principles of free and fair trade. To this end, the US and India plan to undertake a comprehensive review of trade relations with the goal of expediting regulatory processes; ensuring that technology and innovation are appropriately fostered, valued, and protected; and increasing market access in areas such as agriculture, information technology, and manufactured goods and services…”
Defence: The US hailed India as a major defence partner but ‘Make-in-India’ was missing, reported the Indian Express. The statement on defence said, “President Trump and Prime Minister Modi pledged to deepen defence and security cooperation, building on the US’s recognition of India as a major defence partner. The US and India look forward to working together on advanced defence equipment and technology at a level commensurate with that of the closest allies and partners of the US. Reflecting the partnership, the US has offered for India’s consideration the sale of Sea Guardian Unmanned Aerial Systems…”
You may also like to watch:
China: According to the Indian Express, the South China Sea was only mentioned in 2014. This time a specific term ‘Indo-Pacific’ was used in the statement instead of ‘Asian Pacific’. The joint statement holds same reservations against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the One Belt One Road (OBOR) of China.
It said, ““As responsible stewards in the Indo-Pacific region, President Trump and Prime Minister Modi agreed that a close partnership between the US and India is central to peace and stability in the region… In accordance with the tenets outlined in the UN Charter, they committed to a set of common principles for the region, according to which sovereignty and international law are respected and every country can prosper. To this end, the leaders:
* reiterate the importance of respecting freedom of navigation, overflight, and commerce throughout the region;
* call upon all nations to resolve territorial and maritime disputes peacefully and in accordance with international law;
* support bolstering regional economic connectivity through the transparent development of infrastructure and the use of responsible debt financing practices, while ensuring respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, the rule of law, and the environment…”
On the international cooperation front, according to the Indian Express, there was a strong condemnation of North Korea’s nuclear programmes. India’s Think West policy and its stand on Afghanistan was hailed by Trump. The joint statement did not express the two leaders’ views on important themes like climate change and India’s Swachh Bharat.