To lawmakers deeply conscious of serving their states and constituents, he invoked the business side of things, telling them “when defence and aerospace in India grow, industries in the states of Washington, Arizona, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania thrive.When American companies grow, their research and development centres in India thrive. When Indians fly more, a single order for aircraft creates more than a million jobs in 44 states in America.”
PM Modi in US: Live updates
“The scope of our cooperation is endless. The potential of our synergies is limitless. And, the chemistry in our relations is effortless,” he told a Congress where aside from a few sceptics there is resounding bipartisan support for US-India ties.
State department luncheon: PM Narendra Modi speaks on mutual cooperation between India and the US
He finessed New Delhi’s position on the Russia-Ukraine war to a Congress that is overwhelmingly anti-Moscow, acknowledging that countries of the Global South have been particularly affected by the conflict.
“The global order is based on respect for the principles of the UN Charter, peaceful resolution of disputes, and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said in implicit criticism of Russia – for long New Delhi’s ally in global forums – whom Washington is seeking to displace as a principal supplier of arms and energy.
There was also oblique criticism of China, with Modi telling lawmakers that “dark clouds of coercion and confrontation are casting their shadow in the Indo-Pacific”.
India and the US share a vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific… a region where all nations, small and large, are free and fearless in their choices, where progress is not suffocated by impossible burdens of debt, where connectivity is not leveraged for strategic purposes, he told lawmakers in a country that is in the hock to Beijing for more than a trillion dollars.