Gurinder Singh Khalsa says U.S.-India relations will reach new levels under the Trump administration.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Relations between the U.S. and India will reach new heights under the Trump administration, the two nations are “natural partners” and have common interests amid China’s assertiveness in the Asia-Pacific region, said Gurinder Singh Khalsa, an Indian-American entrepreneur with close ties to Vice President Mike Pence.

The two countries also have a shared interest in balancing the increasing economic and military influence of China in the Asia-Pacific region and fighting together the menace of terrorism in South and Central Asia, said Khalsa, who is the founder and chairman of SikhsPAC.

“India and the United States are natural partners at this time. Both have an interest in balancing growing Chinese economic and military influence in southeast Asian. Both have an interest in fighting terrorism originating in central Asian areas like Pakistan and Afghanistan,” Khalsa was quoted as saying by The Press Trust of India. 

“It is to India’s long-term benefit to continue improving relations with the US. We also have many shared business priorities, particularly in IT and tech industries,” he said.

Khalsa, a successful Indiana businessman, has a relationship with the vice president that predates his days as governor of the state. Since President Donald Trump’s dramatic November election victory, Khalsa has emerged as a vocal leader from the Midwest for the Indian-American community.

Khalsa says he wants to focus on strengthening India-U.S. relations and be the voice of Indian-Americans and other such ethnic communities across the country.

“(Pence) has been very outspoken about the need for more economic cooperation between India and Indiana. Prior to his selection as Vice President, he spoke to us about his intention to travel to India after the election. He wanted to be the first Indiana Governor to visit India after the election,” Khalsa said.

“To be clear, his interests are very definitely in the United States. He is an American and he will be advocating for Americans. But, I don’t think that necessarily conflicts with his desire to improve economic and political ties with India. It simply means, he’ll be a tough, but fair negotiator,” he said.

Information from The Press Trust of India contributed to this report.