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EAM's remarks at the Global Technology Summit

Posted on: December 14, 2020 | Back | Print

Ms. Anu Singh: It is now my utmost privilege to invite Dr. S Jaishankar honorable Minister for External Affairs, Government of India to deliver the inaugural remarks. Dr. Jaishankar joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1977 and during his diplomatic career spanning over 38 years he served in different capacities in India and abroad including as High Commissioner to Singapore and as Ambassador to the Czech Republic, China and the USA. Dr. Jaishankar also played a key role in negotiating the Indo US civilian nuclear agreement. - Dr. Jaishankar.

Dr.S.Jaishankar: Well, let me begin by saying it's a great pleasure to join you all this evening my time India and we MEA and Carnegie have been Partners in this event for some years now. So I'm really very pleased that this is continuing because I know this is quite different from a lot of other events that we do with our other partners. I think the subjects are different. The audiences are a little different. So and my own senses, it’s also very contemporary way of looking at the big issues of our radar and quite honestly, I can't think of a better way of framing it than the way it's been done which is today the whole debate about how technology has got more political. Now before we actually get down to the issues. I'd just like to make three or four points which from my perspective would frame the issue. One, a recognition that the world we are in today is very different, is politically very different. That it is a very much more multipolar world. It is in many ways less structured than it was five years ago, ten years ago. It is also a less multilateral world, multilateralism is going through its own difficult challenges. So you are really looking at a world, I would say of more variables and looser equations and therefore, how do you solve the sums of this world? I think are going to test us much more subtly in terms of creativity then they have the before. The second point I would flag is actually about globalization, because whether we like it or not, I think the politics of the world today and I will then move to the technology bit is really reactions to the unfolding of globalization. And there I would I would argue that the fundamental challenge has been that in many societies globalization has sharpened inequality, it has created winners and losers, it has created resentments and political consequences of those but it has also led to unequal benefits among nations. So it is not just that societies have become more argumentative and in a sense less consensual on the subject of globalization. I think so have nations. So the issue to my mind is not whether you have globalization or you don't because I think it's a reality it is how do you actually make it work in a fair and equitable way for more nations and for more people within each nation. Now, then we come to the technology bit. One element of this globalization is really how much technology has really joined the world. It is not only connected the world. It's actually made it much more interpenetrate that you know, when you think in terms of what technology has done to our concept of National Security. National Security historically was something outside our policies. It's no longer so, so the you know, the it's the Matrix of power have certainly changed but I would even argue with the the definition of what is a challenge and what is an asset and what is in a sense issue to be a policy to be addressed. It's much the distinction between domestic and external I think has effectively vanished. Now like every other Foreign Ministry, we have also been looking at this year ago we created a particular division with the mandate to look at technologies, which have political strategic consequences to look at the debates which are taking place in the world today and the negotiations in some cases you know the discussions. What are the regimes we need to, do we need what are the downsides? What are the benefits of those? So in that sense, you know, I would say technology is clearly very political. It is today very much a core part of diplomacy. It is something which every foreign Ministry is going to be focused on in many ways in a very Central way. So I do believe that you know, the technology Summit at this juncture has actually framed an important issue for larger public debate and and by the way, I would also add that if there are two countries who need to be talking about this intensively, it's India and the United States because a large part of our relationship is our Tech driven relationship that if you look at the economic connect, you look at the diaspora connect, you look actually even in a sense today at our strategic connect. It's very technical. So it's important as a larger discussion on Global Affairs, but I think it's also very much a centerpiece of our own relationship. So I'm very pleased that you sort of brought this right up there fair and square for a discussion. Once again, very happy to join you today and look forward to the half an hour that will follow.

Ms. Anu Singh: Thank you so much Dr. Jaishankar for your inaugural remarks. We now have Dr. Jaishankar in conversation with William J Burns, President Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. William Burns previously served as the US Deputy Secretary of State. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Rudra Chaudhuri. .

Dr. Rudra Chaudhuri: Good Evening, It is a real pleasure to welcome Dr. S Jaishankar, the honourable Minister of External Affairs of India and William Burns the President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the former US Deputy Secretary of State. Dr. Jaishankar, William Burns, Thank you so very much for taking the time for this Marquee conversation at the Global Technology Summit 2020 co-hosted by Carnegie India and the ministry of external Affairs, Government of India. The topic for this conversation and as Dr. Jaishankar eloquently put it in his opening remarks is framed around the geopolitics of technology, which is spread across five days with five dedicated themes. The future of each of these things whether its data, digital currencies of payments, inclusion, vaccine technologies speaks to the need for greater collaboration both within the political boundaries of States plus also between different geographical jurisdictions, so, with this in mind, I would like to start with a broader question on your Visions for multilateralism. Dr. Jaishankar you framed multilateralism for us and it's changing fortunes in the present time. You have argued perhaps most clearly in your book "The India way" and I quote here at the multi (inaudible) we now live in are a far cry from the soothing sounds of globalization that we heard just a few years ago, you've written and spoken of the prospects of multipolarity with less multilateralism. The need for a new energy to be brought in to reform multilateralism. So if I could just push you a little bit on this is what exactly does this mean in practical terms as India negotiates the current changes in geopolitics.

Dr.S.Jaishankar: Well, let me make three or four points here. I mean, first of all, you know for obvious reasons, we tend to equate multilateralism with the United Nations. And the fact is today the United Nations is 75 years old. The number of you know the members of the United Nations is about four times what it was when the United Nations began. So if any you know any entity any product is 75 years old and has changed four times over, you would not deny that it's essentially anachronistic. Now the problem we have today about the narrow representation at the leadership levels of the United Nations. I think in many ways is a challenge to its credibility and it's to its effectiveness. Now, I obviously India has an interest in the matter, but you know, I heard you to even look at you know, a continent like Africa. If 50 plus nations don't have a voice, you know, why you know, just think in terms what is their sense of ownership of the workings of this organization. And it's very interesting when I look at it? I think you would see that actually P5 nations are beginning to lose elections in the United Nations. And it's a bit of a chair. You know, it's an interesting development ,which really means that the thinking among the member states about them is not what it used to be and sometimes it has practical issues. I mean you look at something like peacekeeping operations. Those who kind of decide the rules of peacekeeping are not those countries to send the forces of peacekeeping. So, you know, you actually have this dichotomy. So and you I mean in the sense whoever is the SG is landed actually with a very difficult situation. I mean, it's very challenging for (inaudible) to work in this situation. So my first point would be that you do need to reform multilateralism, you need to make it representative. You need to refresh your phone regularly. Okay, somebody needs to press that refresh button on the United Nations. Okay. And again, it's fair, you know countries would have views you may like one. I mean not like the other. It's nobody's case that it should be an entitlement driven process. They will be the, you know process of election which will decide that but I think today we are saying a very determined blocking of change in the name of you know, I don't like country X or I don't like country Y. I think it's very unfair on the world that has emerged since 1945. I think its particularly unfair on Africa. And so to my mind if the big problem is not fixed because the United Nations is some sort of is the brand name in a sense of multilateralism. I think multilateralism will lose credibility. Now the second point very quickly is actually of conflicting agendas that you have a sharpening in a sense of interests and views among major powers and it has in many areas created a gridlocks. So a lot of the discussions are actually taking place not in any kind of multilateral format, but outside that so unless the ,you know, in a sensitive broaden the multilateral drivers you would actually possibly make this gridlock less sort of deep, associated with out in also a tendency sometimes, you know a country will take its particular issue, its agenda, a national agenda and try to pass it off as though it's International as is collective without consultation with everybody else, you know. So that also I think doesn't help multilateralism because then it looks like multilateral formats are being used really to advance very narrow National (inaudible). The behavior of States on multilateralism has also raised questions. So I think you had countries who have not observed international law because it doesn't suit them. Your countries were Cherry Picked, you know what they liked and what they didn't in terms of regimes and norms .You had some gaming of the system. I think particularly in the field of trade. None of which frankly has helped the reputation of multilateralism and the result of all of this today is the world is significantly more bilateral and the world is also looking at more plurilateral answers that if you know a structure format can give you a solution then okay, you know five of us or ten of us to agree on on finding a solution that's you know step outside the room, figure out what we believe is the right thing to do and go ahead and do that. So the world seems to be going in that direction and I would argue, it's real. It's not the best answer. We still I would still feel the world is better off with a reformed multilateralism with greater acceptance in the world.

Dr. Rudra Chaudhuri: Thank you, Sir. I'm going to come back to the question of cherry-picking in multilateralism in a minute but ,(inaudible), turn to you. In the past four years you've been one of the most passionate advocates. As you yourself write for the rebirth of American diplomacy to a new strategy, for a new century. You have made a very strong and convincing case for the need for reinvention of American foreign policy. So not just restoration put on almost a complete overhaul of American foreign policy. As a new administration office in the United States one that is clearly committed to recovering American leadership abroad. In practical terms what will this look like? What are the stages from Will Burns reinvention book that are likely to share President Biden's foreign policy Drive.

Mr. William J. Burns: Well first let me say Rudra. I'm delighted that you and all of our colleagues at Carnegie India are embarked on another global technology Summit. I really admire your work and it's also a terrific to be with my friend and former colleague, the minister, who in my experience over the years is as fine a diplomat as I ever worked with and I really enjoyed your opening remarks as well. I can't speak for president-elect Biden or his administration. I have enormous respect for him. He'll be the most experienced president when he takes office next month since George H W Bush 30 years ago, and he's putting together an exceptional team, I think President elect Biden knows as well as anyone that the world he's going to be returning to is not the same as it was four years ago for all the reasons that the minister just described. You know, our domestic landscape has shifted in some important ways with the variety of dysfunctions ,political polarization ,racial injustice, growing economic inequality and again, as Dr. Jaishankar just described eloquently. The international landscape has been shifting for some time with you know major shifts in the balance of power among states ,with the rise of China and India. I think major new Global challenges that go beyond the reach of any one state whether its climate change, the biggest existential crisis that human society faces, the revolution in technology on which you know, this Summit is focused. How do you maximize the benefits and minimize the dislocations and develop effective and workable rules of the road and obviously go for health and securities as well. But all of those do require a new kind of multilateralism. I absolutely agree. And then third and not least I think as you look at the Contours of an international landscape that's in the process of significant transformation. I mean one of those rare plastic moments and international order that comes along maybe a couple of times a century. There are you know, increasing uncertainties about the role of the main driver of the old International order, the post-cold war International order. My own country the United States seen I think especially in recent years to be increasingly erratic and uncertain at the wheel. So all of those together, I think, you know create huge challenges and the pandemic in many respects over the last year has I think exposed and accelerated a lot of those pre-existing conditions. So we'll have a new driver at the wheel on the 20th of January and that in my view is a very welcome thing but you know, that's just going to be a start, you know, there's always talk of the United States returning to its seat at the head of the table, which is an admirable idea. But that also is just the start it's not as if you return to a seat at the table at the head of the table and you're surrounded by people allies and partners and suitably impressed rivals, you know, the United States is going to have to earn that through disciplined engagement with the world and disciplined Leadership. It's going to have to in the Biden administration. I think navigate between the illusion of restorations because it's not as if we can turn a switch and return the world and our role in it to what it was some years ago, but there's an equally illusory temptation which is massive retrenchment from that of that world just to focus on nation building at home that carries that kind of under reach that carrys as many risks as the overreach that we were sometimes guilty of since 9/11 in the last 20 years. So what all that means I think is a much more disciplined American approach to foreign policy. I think grouped around three priorities first exactly as Dr. Jaishankar said a much more intimate connection between domestic renewal and foreign policy, second a new kind of multilateralism to deal with those global challenges that I described before and in a way demonstrating to a skeptical American public. That that kind of approach to foreign policy is really the first line of defense for American society to make it more resilient in the face of external shocks and then third and not least the challenge of what will be an intense long-term rivalry between the United States and China and here I think president-elect Biden understands as well as anyone that that Chinese rivalry is with the Chinese leadership that in many ways is much more durable politically , more vibrant economically then Soviet Union ever was during the height of the Cold War but I think the challenge, well, not underestimating chinese capacity or ambitions is also to understand the strong hand that the United States has to play in. This is a self-absorbed comment about the American policy, but I think there is the there does exist a web of Partners and allies across the Indo-Pacific who share an interest in ensuring the China's rise doesn't come at the expense of their security and prosperity so that creates an opportunity. I think not so much to prevent China's rise as to shape the environment into which it rises and I think you know that becomes, you know, as important attest of American statecraft in the Biden Administration and ...(inaudible) as I can imagine the very last thing I'd say and I'm sorry as a recovering Diplomat, I've just demonstrated my capacity to rattle on forever, but I think the partnership, the strategic partnership, that's built up over the last 20 years between the United States and India is going to remain critically important in all of those priorities in American foreign policy that I just described and for all the reasons that Dr. Jaishankar just emphasized as well. And so we're going to need to be talking about all of those issues whether it's how do you reinvent multilateralism? How does that relate to the kind of pluralistic approaches that the minister mentioned? How does it relate to our economic interactions and our security partnership as well. So it's going to make that partnership more not less important in the years ahead.

Dr. Rudra Chaudhuri: Dr.Jaishankar, if I could pick up one of the threads will make that kind of argument which you've also made about the connection between the domestic and the international. There's been a fair bit of commentary sometimes criticism of India's articulation of self-sufficiency, especially in the past 10 months. You yourself have argued that in many ways the world is going to move through this kind of single-minded pursuit of national interest whether it turns into a bizarre you said they'll be more players, greater volatility and less rules. But in your book you also make a strong case between the balance between Atmanirbhar Bharat and Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam - All the world is one family. I was just wondering is can you flash out what that balance actually looks and feels like?

Dr.S.Jaishankar: Okay before I give you a substantive answer. Let me make one comment so that people are quite clear what I wrote in the book. Ok. I kind of set out in a sense or more selfish self-centered world, but I was also equally clear that's not the way for in the article, that you know that we for reasons of our own history and our own aspirations should actually aim for the highest and so I just want to be very clear there.Now coming to your question, you know in a sense because I have some of your listeners may not understand Atmanirbhar Bharat, that means essentially self-reliant India. So self-reliant India is a policy approach of the current government to actually build greater economic strengths at home. So the question really is how do you square a building more economic strengths at home? So more self-reliant Outlook with your Global outlook. For starters look at the history of modernization at least in recent times. Again, sorry to go back to my book. I've made the point that every major economy that has modernized in the last hundred and fifty years has done so by actually connecting with the world, you know, the start you can pick we want to start with Meiji Japan, go to Soviet Union after the Bolshevik Revolution or you know, then take a gap and maybe move to the Asian tigers to ASEAN. I mean you look at them all. All of them have actually leveraged international relations for National development. And the point I have made then which I continue to make is India has not done as much as it could have, as it should have in this respect. The second related to that is no more tech world. This is even more important. So the idea that you know, somehow you can build your strength by staying at home. I don't think anybody serious could even look at it. So a lot of the criticism ...(inaudible) are actually caricatures which have an agent, you know, this is political problem. Okay. So I think we need to differentiate between a serious conversation and some of the point scoring which particularly we Indians are very good at. Now, what is self-reliant India, Atmanirbhar Bharat? The idea is really build your domestic strength, you know enhance your capabilities, invest at home, improve your your own capacities. Now, this is not, this is not something unique to India or to ...(inaudible). You know, I'm a not just draw your attention. I was reading Tom Friedman's interview with the president-elect. Okay, and I give you a quote. Okay. ‘’I want to make sure that we are going to fight like hell by investing in America first’’, Said Biden. He ticked off energy, biotech, advanced materials and artificial intelligence as areas ripe for large-scale government investment in research. I am not going to enter any new trade arrangement with anybody until we have made major investments here at home and in our workers. So what you have is really the president-elect saying look I'm going to you know in a sense create a more self-reliant America. I mean a point which Bill made about actually investing at home and create, you know, having the ability to (inaudible) and I think India has the same aspiration, the same entitlement in that regard. So essentially our program today is to rebuild manufacturing because we have seen manufacturing significantly eroded in the last 20 years. Okay. We want to actually want to give our own industry today a Level Playing Field, which they have not had because the earlier trading arrangements actually left them open to you know, subsidized imports from abroad and also get you know, presented them with the challenge of market access abroad. So we want a fairer trade arrangement for our own people so that we build those steps. Now that fits in very well with a kind of a global outlook that we have because if you look at India in this very field, even I were to benchmark India 2020 with even India 2014 I would say we are definitely much more into global politics than we have before. We are, you know, we were critical for Paris for the agreement to happen in Paris. We have tabled two major initiatives, the International Solar Alliance and the Coallition for Disaster Resilient, or we have shaped the G20 agenda in a very very sort of vigorous manner. So I think India will be more International but we want to come to the table with more cards in our hands just as America wants to do the same. Now what the Covid has done is , Covid has actually have made these debates and these challenges much sharper. Okay, because the two issues which have come out of the Covid challenge for international relations, one of transparency and two of reliability. So I think today we are not only looking at a fairer world where our International System also a more trusted one. Now one way to go of course would be you know, you do more FTAs.Free trade agreements, you know, first of all, you need to pick the right ones. They can be time consuming. We have been arguing with some Partners saying why don't we do an early harvest but you know, there are views about that but I think in parallel, we have shifted a lot of our attention today to actually attracting global companies so that the global supply chains, the global value chains go through India. For which we are made it, you know, we've undertaken a whole set of reforms to make it easier to do business. So my senses today, you will see an India which will build up its strength, but at the same time we much more open to the world which will be much more attractive to global companies, which will be much more aggressively seeking investments from abroad so I don't see this. I will I see them frankly as two sides of the same coin. And what I do want to emphasize is look I think the days are over when we should be just a market for others, you know at the end of the day what India's , has sort of US. It is we have enormous talent, you know, we have to bring that Talent into play at home and globally and we need to be part of any answer which the world is looking as you said whether it is vaccines or whether it is, you know any other part of the tech world.

Dr. Rudra Chaudhuri: Thank you, Sir. Bill if I turn to you, in a sense, It's almost seems like India and America are in a sense pretty much in the same place, trying to both now trying to chart a future to square the balance between self-reliance and what a new internationalism might actually look like. You yourself has written about the need to course-correct in America and perhaps the need for the American middle class to play a more powerful role in the way in which foreign policies imagined. How do you see this actually squaring up with in the near future? We here in the Biden Administration equate a call for globalization, free trade. Many argue that Biden 1.0 may look a bit more like Obama 2.0. But how do you see the near future and how do you square that Circle?

William J.Burns: I think I started as Jaishankar. Oh, so this is not an either/or proposition, you know, this is not a question of either so national self reliance or kind of you know, undiscriminating approach to globalization. I think for both the United States and India, the challenge is finding a balance between the two. I, you know came at age professionally at least as a young Diplomat at the height of globalization euphoria 30 years ago when the assumption, the lazy assumption, in some ways at least in the United States was the globalization was going to kind of inexorably lift all boats. Well the truth is that not only did I do I think that we overreached a foreign policy, engaged in our own kind of magical thinking sometimes in the last 20 years about our capacity to transform other societies while neglecting the transformation of our own to take into account the reality the globalization offers huge benefits and we've seen that as hundreds of millions of people in India and China and Africa and around the world have been able to increase their sense of economic opportunity and move into the middle class. Huge advances in science and public health around the world as well not withstanding the current pandemic, but the reality also is that there are downsides as well that have to be taken into account. And so the challenge for the Biden administration is to try to find that balance, to help reinforce to Americans that you know, of course. There's going to be a huge national challenge in navigating past the pandemic but we can't do that successfully let alone prepare for a future pandemic unless we find better ways to cooperate multilaterally and internationally, unless we find ways to reform the World Health Organization. Not abandon it, the same is true on economic recovery. No big economy. Whether it's the United States or India is going to successfully navigate past the economic repercussions of the pandemic without International coordination. It's obviously true on climate change as well. It's true with regard to the phenomenon as the minister was discussing of you know, how do you best harness the benefits of technology and develop workable rules of the road that will be another challenge for the Biden administration at a moment, you know in American political discourse where you know, the UN system multilateralism are not sort of wildly popular notions. And so the challenge is going to be to demonstrate in very practical terms the benefits that smart disciplined connection to the rest of the world can produce for Americans and I think that's very similar to the challenge that Jaishankar just described, you know with regard to India today as well so much easier said than done. I absolutely agree that this increases the importance of you know, discussion and collaboration between the United States and India. I know that process will not be easy much of my white hair came from negotiating with Indian counterparts over the years, but I think but I think we share we share a broad sense of common purpose on these issues too and I think we have much more to gain and we have to lose by trying to tackle issues of Regulation and Technology issues of geopolitics of data in ways in which like-minded countries can develop if not identical strategies on those issues at least complementary and coordinated ones because that's the only way it seems to me to gain traction in dealing with the much different visions of those issues that you know countries like China or Russia have today too. So it's going to require a lot of work. But this is the central challenge. I think finding that balance between self-reliance and a smart disciplined approach to globalization. That's going to be the central challenge for both India and the United States. I think as we look at over the next decade and beyond.

Dr. Rudra Chaudhuri: Dr.Jaishankar, if I could just pick up the one point that will made on trust in the world of technology and I'm sure as will be discussed over the five days of this Summit. Terms like balkanization of the internet, (inaudible) opportunity, sovereignty hypnosis when it comes to technology seem to be the abiding terms of this form of geopolitics. How does India or how do we find that trust with like-minded countries get beyond the disagreements on the treatment of data for instance to come to some kind of a new compact whether it's bilateral, whether it's plurilateral, whether is multilateral and I say this to the both of you, you've both negotiated, perhaps the freakiest agreement that India and the US have ever signed the US- India nuclear deal. You are both champions of this relationship. But how do we find that trust?

Dr. S. Jaishankar: Well, you know I mean first of all where India and US are concerned, I don't think that's an issue. Okay, but I would readily accept that today in the world. The world is less trusting, you know after the Covid than it was before but also, let's be fair. I think it was moving in that direction even independently of the Covid. Okay. Now what has it done, you know what one one among its sort of consequences has been that our sense of National Security has actually widened to to really capture many other domains of our existence. I mean typically, you know, you thought of it in terms of diplomacy, policing terms, intelligence terms, law terms, but suddenly Covid has made health security a very very central part of the National Security especially of larger countries. Okay, I would argue that Pre- Covid but certainly Post-Covid data security is again very much central to that. I was two weeks ago in the gulf and I could see concerns about food security which you know, we're not there in the last five years that I used to visit the gulf and part of it. I mean it was good for us because through this entire Covid period we kept our supply lines going to the gulf. Certainly now again I will give you an indian perspective for us Energy security is very important and I think today connectivity, you know, all these have become elements of a wider understanding of a more insecure world about what constitutes National Security and their the trust factor of course is particularly sensitive when it comes to technology and when it comes to data. I accept that. Now I made the point in my initial remarks that when you think of globalization, you know at this globalization as we know it not what it was a century ago. This globalization certainly is much more interdependent, but it is much more inter-penetrative as well. So our sense of National Security is no longer at about us or it's right there in your homes. So it is but our responses are also much more constrained because we are interdependent. So, you know you nobody has a radical freedom of action. Oh you do but in very very few cases, so I think the problem has really become more complex. Now again, just look back in history in a sense, you know when you look at politics or strategy, typically as we learn to navigate new domains, we included that in our arena of operations. So, you know initially armies would move on land then they started to move on sea, when they found their planes they started to move on air then they went into space but these are physical domains. Today, actually, I think pretty much every human activity has got politicized and that some countries even weaponized, that you know, you can I mean finance has become a vulnerability and also a pressure point. Trade has become you know that applies as well. Connectivity can be used to offer inducement or to build pressure. So there is you know, the the whole debate of what is security?, what is vulnerability?, what is defense? What is leverage? All of that that I think has become very much more complex and the world of technology has clearly sort of raised it to the power and now I agree with you that issues of trust are very important and finally trust is shaped by behavior. I think to some degree by sociology. You know, what how are we at home because how I behave at home is how I'm going to behave largely abroad. I think the idea that there is a , you can have two behavioral types don't really work in nation states and and their politics. I think to some degree record as well. I think if you had a scarring experience or two that also tends to erode trust. So I do see these issues and I think a lot of that feeds into our desire today, you know one part of the self-reliant India, which I spoke about is aspiration. I mean, we aspire to things, we would like to have more capacities but one part is also that we need to be more secure and I would say certainly a lot of steps that this government has taken, it has made India much more digital. It has I mean, I don't think any government has really given startups and innovation the kind of privacy, which it has own Hardware or we have announced a very ambitious sort of you know, scheme or incentive scheme to attract Hardware Manufacturing in India. So you are going to see as I say both and India with greater capacities, but also an India which in many ways feels okay, at least I have my fundamental basis better covered, but I come back to you know, the bilateral relationship. I think this has been a relationship of growing trust. You know , Bill would agree with me that ,you know, if you look I mean part of the reason we both have white hair was that we ask too many questions about each other. We won't ask those questions today. You know, when I look at the complexity of some of the agreements we have reached in recent months and years, you know, they we would not have even contemplated those in the earlier era. So I think while I still would stand by that statement that the world has become more distrustful, I think some relationships have actually become much closer and much stronger and I would certainly cite that the India- America one is one of them. So I'm actually at the end of day very optimistic on this code.

Dr. Rudra Chaudhuri: Thank you Sir. Last question on China, which perhaps used to be the elephant in the room, but no more so Bill on this whole question of trust intake, clearly it is the distrust in technology that drove a large part to the decoupling strategy under the Trump Administration. Whether it was banning Chinese apps, making it difficult for China to do business in America, steering away from Chinese firms investing in 5G. Do you see this kind of a strategy especially with regards to technology continuing over the next two or three years or do you see a different kind of approach to China?

Mr. William J. Burns: Well, I mean, I think that's a big broad question. And I guess I would say the following. First. I think you know, the intense nature of US- Chinese competition is certainly going to increase as I said before I think president-elect Biden has no illusions about the nature of that competition nor does he have any Illusions about the importance of reducing vulnerabilities, you know, whether it's to single points of failure in supply chains. And you know in certain very sensitive areas, whether it's in National Security areas, sensitive Technologies, even Global health and medical equipment areas. So I think that's going to continue to be a focus in the new Administration as well as certainly in the US Congress as well. I do think that you'll see a couple, my guess is that just be a couple of significant contrast though. First I think is an even greater emphasis on that issue of trust working with partners and allies and dealing with a lot of those challenges. I think building on the trust that you know has increased over recent years and recent decades between the United States and China as we try to sort through a lot of the issues when were discussing on rules of the road in technology and how we interact economically and in security terms as well. That's a huge asset for the United States and one of my criticisms of the current administration is that well, I think there has been admirably a lot of focus on you as India partnership, I think. That that approach to alliances and Partnerships has been quite uneven to put it diplomatically and I think you'll see in Biden administration much more of a focus on that second. I do think again, as Dr. Jaishankar read of the interview that president-elect Biden did recently you'll see a much sharper focus and you know, increasing National competitiveness at home on all these issues, investing in education and research and development as well because that's really the key to domestic renewal in our country. It's the key to being able to compete effectively and I think finally you'll see much more of an interest in the kind of standard setting capacity that the United States has again work not unilaterally but working with allies and partners around the world standards in everything from economic competition across the Indo-Pacific to the new rules of the road in technology. This is going to be a grinding step by step process. I mean, I wish I was optimistic enough to tell you that I think there's going to be some grand new United Nations convention on those issues that it's going to emerge fully formed. I don't think that's going to be the case. It's going to take like-minded countries for one of a better term who can build greater and greater trust among themselves, developing rules of the road on you know, how do you make the best use of technology so that recognizing, you know the ways in which it can be distorted for surveillance technology and authoritarian regimes and the way in which it can contribute to more effective open governance to connections between Civil Society groups as well. And that's a conversation think that's going to be central to the US India partnership and to you know, I think American foreign policy as far out as I can see into the 21st century. I think that's the best way to play what is still a strong hand for the United States in the world, but one in which we need to invest in the capacity which we have for alliances, for partnerships for mobilizing other countries because it's that capacity, I still believe which that's the United States apart from lonelier powers like China or Russia or anyone else.

Dr. Rudra Chaudhuri: Thanks Bill and Dr. Jaishankar, the last question to you is India is the largest open data market in the world. That demography is not going to change for the next many decades. It has scaled Europe, Japan, United States have capital. There's a clear compact between the way in which these different planets can come together. India also takes an international position. Come January will be a non-permanent member of the UNSC. Come 2022 we’ll chair the G20. Shouldn't technology be leveraged to create some kind of a new leadership compact that India drives internationally and if so what might that look like?

Dr.S.Jaishankar: I don't know because you know, if I were to pick up on what Bill said, I'm not sure that we are really in the you know of big International complex. I think we have to kind of work our way through the situation which we are in which is frankly messy on many scores. My own senses that the best contribution that India can make to the world today is really to participate much more in International and Global change. Okay, I think and to do that India has to shape up, you know, it's not going to happen because you know, we are India, so we will have to you know, make the changes the reforms the incentives of the offered attractive conditions for that to happen and when that happens, I think to some degree the world would benefit clearly and so would India. So I would define the to me the question in a very different manner than you would because look at the end of the day for me my benchmark for whether my even my foreign policy is working or not is finally what are the employment numbers that it reached because I think this is today a question, I think all of us have woken up to the whole danger of jobless groups. Now if I were to define it in that way my I would put it how do I bring my talent into play. Because I have a reservoir of talent. How do I keep improving that and scaling up that reservoir. How do I get it in to play and to do that. I think that be answer would be all of the above, you know, there could be International negotiations, they could be plurilateral ones, they could be bilateral ones, they could be informal understanding, they could be like-minded as Bill said and we are seeing some of that. I mean you will look at vaccines for example, you know, finally frankly, if the world gets that kind of volume of vaccines which it needs, I mean, India is going to make a make a very very, you know, significant contribution to that. Well, I see that happening in other areas as well. I would like at least like to.

Dr. Rudra Chaudhuri: Dr. Jaishankar, William Burns! Thank you so much for giving your time to this inaugural conversation to the Global technology Summit 2020. Thank you.

Dr. S. Jaishankar: Thank you such a pleasure.

Mr. William J. Burns: Thank you.

New Delhi
December 14, 2020


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