Issue Brief on “Modi Visits US: How China Interprets?”

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Introduction

Notwithstanding the growing relevance of China in the U.S.-India equation, during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States between June 22-24, 2023, China was not explicitly mentioned; rather, analysts described China as the ‘ghost at the U.S.-India feast’[1] and an ‘elephant in the room.’[2] However, before the Indian PM visited the U.S., the diplomatic flurry in New Delhi made no secret of the fact that countering China was the key driver of the deals and agreements being stitched between the U.S. and India.[3] The growing alignment between the U.S. and India has been a concerning subject for South Asian security and stability. While China did not mind U.S.-India cooperation aimed at peace and development, it has opposed any schemes targeting China and undermining regional stability. Chinese experts stressed China’s economic and military superiority compared to India, and assumed that the U.S.-India relationship against China would not go too far owing to India’s professed ‘non-alignment’ and quest for ‘strategic autonomy.’ Mostly, the treatment of PM Modi’s visit to the U.S. in China remained a low-key affair due to the following reasons.

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