Report on Dr. Michael Auslin’s Lecture at Global India Foundation

Dr. Michael Auslin of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) visited the Foundation on May 17, 2011, to present a lecture on the “Future of U.S.-Sino Relations and South Asia”. Dr. Auslin, the Director of Japan Studies of (AEI) was an Associate Professor of History and a Senior Research Fellow at the Macmillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University prior to joining AEI. A frequent commentator in U.S. and foreign media, Mr. Auslin is also a columnist for the Wall Street Journal. His writings on Asia and Japan include the book Pacific Cosmopolitans: A Cultural History of U.S.-Japan Relations (Harvard University Press, 2011) and the report Security in the Indo-Pacific Commons: Toward a Regional Strategy (AEI Press, 2010). He has been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, a Marshall Memorial Fellow by the German Marshall Fund, and a Fulbright and Japan Foundation Scholar.

From left to right: Prof. Sanjukta Bhattacharya and Dr. Michael Auslin at GIF

Dr. Auslin spoke about the recent trends in Sino-U.S. relations specifically focusing on its implications on South Asia as well as upon the Asia Pacific region. He spoke at length about the Obama administration’s erstwhile policy of forming a group of G-2 nations with China. However, he also stressed upon the importance of proper policy formulation and the need for the US administration to keep open various options for the future. Dr. Auslin further stated that the G-2 policy has now been abandoned and that China’s belligerent attitude and lack of adequate democratic values has forced the Obama government to move away from its erstwhile stand of “Chimerica.” He also accentuated the need for common democratic values and ideals that are required for nations to foster beneficial relations with each other. Dr. Auslin stated that with regard to South Asia, and primarily India, the Obama administration has been extremely cautious and has understood the importance of bilateral relations with a country like India that shares common ideals and democratic values with the United States.

Prof. Sanjukta Bhattacharya, Member, Global India Foundation, and Professor, Department of International Relations. Jadavpur University, Kolkata, chaired the session and spoke on relevant issues such as the American involvement in various events across the world as well as their repercussions on the Asia Pacific region. Important inputs were also provided by Prof. Ranjan Chakrabarti, Professor, Department of History, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, who spoke about the importance of South Asian scholarship and South Asia in the eyes of America. Prof. Omprakash Mishra, Member Secretary, Global India Foundation, and Professor, Department of International Relations, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, added relevant aspects to the discussion on Sino-American relations and also spoke of realism acting as a common theory linking interactions between India and the US. The Fellows of the Foundation asked Dr. Auslin various significant questions pertaining to Indo-US bilateral relations as well as America’s relations with other South Asian as well as South East Asian nations.