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How India visit could benefit Donald Trump


NEW DELHI: US President Donald Trump made a whirlwind 36-hour tour of India after indulging in diplomatic grandstanding in Ahmedabad, taking a sunset tour of the Taj and holding a series of meetings in New Delhi.
The visit, Trump's first since he assumed the oval office, was expected to cap the protracted negotiations for a trade deal and help the US position itself as premier defence supplier for India. It also comes just months ahead of presidential elections in the US with Trump hoping to showcase his bonhomie with PM Modi to win over a substantial share of Indian-American voters.
Meanwhile, both the nations are looking to counter China's growing assertiveness in the Indian Ocean Region by reviving Quad initiative with the US, India, Australia and Japan.
Here's what the visit meant for Trump and India:
President Trump has made a strong pitch for American military hardware during his trip as he looks to sell state-of-the-art military helicopters and other equipment to India.
Trump said today that India will buy $3 billion worth of military equipment, including attack helicopters, as the two nations deepen defence and commercial ties.
Indias defence purchases from the United States have reached $17 billion since 2007 as it has pivoted away from traditional supplier Russia, looking to modernise its military and narrow the gap with China.
Big-ticket defence deals with India will help Trump position America as a top defence supplier to India and raise the 'Made in America' manufacturing back home.
Countering China
Trump's visit has also given a fresh fillip to the Quad initiative as both India and the US seek to counter the rapid rise of China and its assertive and aggressive role in South China Sea and beyond.
Addressing reporters in Delhi, Trump said that together with India, the US is trying to revitalise the Quad initiative.
Quad is an ambitious grouping of four nations – US, India, Australia and Japan – that intends to check China's increasing economic influence, military might and diplomatic footprint in the Indo-Pacific.
Another area where the US-China rivalry is playing out is in the area of technology. China and the US have been fighting for leadership in the technology sector in recent months, with Chinese tech giant Huawei at the centre of their power struggle.
Seeking to gain an edge over China, Trump has said he discussed with PM Modi the importance of a secure 5G telecoms network in India ahead of a planned airwaves auction by the country.
Trump's visit to India comes months ahead of presidential elections in America. The US President is looking to bank on his bonhomie with "great friend" PM Modi to capture a key share of Indian-American votes.
During the grand "Namaste Trump" event in Ahmedabad, Trump sent a clear message of friendship to both India and the NRI population back home, saying that "America loves India".
Ramesh Patel, chairman of Federation of Indian Associations (FIA), said that the US has about 2.1% population of people from India.
"With elections this year, the president would like to woo the Indian voters and the (Ahmedabad) event will be a significant gesture. While I personally dont see major policy changes immediately, its a clear message to the world about bilateral friendship especially when India faces threaRead More – Source