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Passage No 152

Direction: Read the following passage and answer the questions carefully. Certain words are printed in bold in order to help you locate them while answering some of the question.

United States President Donald Trump’s announcement that Washington will withdraw the GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) trade status given to India 30 years ago came hours after former diplomat S. Jaishankar assumed office as External Affairs Minister, pointing to the fact that the immediate challenges before him will come from the U.S., and its “great power rivalry” with Russia and China.

Even without the GSP decision, the India-U.S. trade relationship had been under heavy strain for the past year, over what the Washington calls unfair trade restrictions on sale of dairy products and medical equipment, as well as proposed Indian regulations on data localisation and e-commerce companies operating here. Despite several rounds of talks on a comprehensive trade package, there has been no breakthrough, and Mr. Jaishankar will have to work with the new Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal to revive the talks, possibly when Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visits Delhi this month.

On Thursday, the U.S. Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, said plainly that the U.S. would sanction, without exception, any country that buys or has bought Iranian oil after the May 2 deadline. While India has not bought Iranian oil since May 2, it is yet to say categorically that it won’t, and the new External Affairs Minister is expected to make a clear policy statement on this soon. Russia and China have opposed the sanctions, and are likely to discuss this at the upcoming SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

On Friday, a senior State Department official told a group of reporters in Washington, that the U.S. would also bring sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act, CAATSA, against India, if it goes ahead with its purchase of the S-400 Triumf missile shield from Russia. The purchase would “preclude” a deep and broad defence relationship with the U.S., the official said. India has announced that it will India get its first Triumf system by October 2020 and the $5.5 billion contract will be completed by April 2023, and unless the government changes plans, it is set on a collision course with the U.S. on the issue.

On Saturday, Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan made it clear that the U.S. wants its partners to join in the ban on Chinese telecommunication company Huawei for its 5G technology. “Huawei is too close to the [Chinese] government,” said Mr. Shanahan, speaking at the annual “Shangri-La Dialogue” in Singapore, warning of cybersecurity and intellectual property issues with the company.

Mr. Shanahan’s warnings followed a stark message from Mr. Pompeo, who said during a visit to Germany on Friday that the U.S. may cut intelligence sharing with countries that choose telecom companies the U.S. doesn’t trust. India has thus far declined to ban Huawei from its process for 5G telecommunication network.
» Explain it
E
Refer to, “Russia and China have opposed the sanctions, and are likely to discuss this at the upcoming SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
 
It is clear from the above lines that Russia and China have decided to support Iran on the issue since they are not with the USA regarding this. The Presidents of both the countries are going to meet India PM Narendra Modi also on the sidelines of the SCO Summit so that he can also be convinced accordingly.

Among the given options, if we need to find out the correct pick, our answer is Option E since it correctly points out the fact Russia and China are against any kind of sanction on Iran by the USA. Other options can be eliminated from consideration since they do not follow from the passage.

This makes Option E the correct choice among the given options.
2
Which among the following is NOT a country that is expected to give a headache to the new External Affairs Minister of India, S Jaishankar, as described in the passage?
» Explain it
D
It is very much clear from the passage that Indian External Affairs Minister will have his task cut out to manage the relationship of the country with USA and navigate the country through its rivalry with Russia and China. There is no reference to Bulgaria in the passage.

This makes Option D the correct choice among the given options.
» Explain it
C
Refer to, “United States President Donald Trump’s announcement that Washington will withdraw the GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) trade status given to India 30 years ago came hours after former diplomat S. Jaishankar assumed office as External Affairs Minister,”

So, Statement A is correct that USA has recently withdrawn the GSP status granted to India and also Statement B is correct for the fact that it was granted more than 30 years ago. Regarding Statement C, there is no such reference that no other country in the world was granted the status except India. Hence it cannot be considered as correct based on the information given in the passage.

This makes Option C the correct choice among the given options.
» Explain it
C
Refer to, “On Friday, a senior State Department official told a group of reporters in Washington, that the U.S. would also bring sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act, CAATSA, against India, if it goes ahead with its purchase of the S-400 Triumf missile shield from Russia.”

It is clear from the above lines that the CAATSA Act can be invoked against India if it goes ahead with the purchase of the missile shield from Russia. Otherwise there is no other issue as such.

Among the given options, we can see that Option C is our pick since all the others are completely out of context here and some also do not follow from the passage.

This makes Option C the correct choice among the given options. 
» Explain it
E
Refer to, “Mr. Shanahan’s warnings followed a stark message from Mr. Pompeo, who said during a visit to Germany on Friday that the U.S. may cut intelligence sharing with countries that choose telecom companies the U.S. doesn’t trust.”

It is clear from the above lines that USA will take the stern decision of not allowing any intelligence sharing with the countries that decide to continue with mobile manufacturers whom USA doesn’t trust at all.

Among the given options, Option E correctly explains this fact whereas the other options are completely out of context here thereby making them eligible for elimination.

This makes Option E the correct choice among the given options.

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