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Past Event

Private Briefing: Survey on India’s Role in the Indo-Pacific

Event Report

On May 31, Brookings India – in collaboration with six other Asian institutions – released a six-country survey on attitudes towards the United States, China, and the changing international order. Among other things, the survey offers details on Indian public attitudes to China, the United States, Pakistan, and India’s role in Asia. Additionally, the survey provides valuable insights on Indian perspectives to trade, investment, immigration, democracy, and national identity. On June 16, Dhruva Jaishankar, Fellow for Foreign Policy at Brookings India, conducted a private briefing where he discussed the survey results for India.

Here are some of the major findings of the survey:

  • India is extremely positive and optimistic of the United States. India is an outlier here, as the other Asian countries surveyed did not report similar degrees of optimism.
  • Indians are wary of China. The contradiction is that although Indians are cautious of China’s rise, they also believe that ties with China must be improved.
  • Pakistan and Pakistan-China ties remain critical concerns for Indians. 48% of the Indians surveyed believed that conflict with Pakistan is extremely or very likely.
  • There is some concern among Indians about the international and Asian regional order. 53% of the Indians surveyed believed that the U.S. is India’s closest international partner.
  • Although Indians exhibit a great deal of pride in India’s international role and its potential as a global actor, there is also a strong isolationist instinct. 50% of the Indians surveyed believed that India must not embroil itself in the problems of other countries, while the other half believed that India must play a stronger role in international affairs.
  • Indians are more aware of U.S. politics (e.g. term of the U.S. President) and alliances, than Asian institutions (e.g. ASEAN, RCEP, etc).
  • Indians are very supportive of trade and foreign investment. 68% support foreign investment in infrastructure.
  • Indians have mixed feelings towards immigration—86% of the respondents believed that immigration takes away jobs but 50% also said that immigration is good for the economy.
  • Although Indians do place importance on democracy and its institutions, there is a certain skepticism about democracy’s ability to produce desired results.
  • Religion matters a slight degree less than other national identifiers such as place of birth, respect for Indian laws and institutions and feeling ‘Indian.’

This event report has been written by Shruti Godbole. Tushita Saraf, a foreign policy research intern at Brookings India, contributed to the writing of this report.  The views are of the author(s), discussant(s), panellist(s).

Event Announcement

On May 31, Brookings India – in collaboration with six other Asian institutions – released a six-country survey on attitudes towards the United States, China, and the changing international order. Among other things, the survey offers details on Indian public attitudes to China, the United States, Pakistan, and India’s role in Asia. Additionally, the survey provides valuable insights on Indian perspectives to trade, investment, immigration, democracy, and national identity.

This is a private briefing by Dhruva Jaishankar, Fellow for Foreign Policy at Brookings India, where he will discuss the survey results for India. The briefing is private and on-the-record. All participants are requested to register their attendance with Shruti Godbole at sgodbole@brookingsindia.org.

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