NEW DELHI: A trade deal may not have been signed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the United States but a lot of progress has been made with regard to an interim arrangement that could ultimately lead to a trade agreement, says Jeff Smith, research fellow on South Asia at the Heritage Foundation. In a three-way chat with SNI Editor-in-Chief Nitin A. Gokhale and Tanvi Madan, senior fellow at Brookings, Smith says he is optimistic about India-U.S. ties. Smith and Madan, both long-time China watchers, feel Chinese President Xi Jinping is under pressure, both due to a host of internal issues like the protests in Hong Kong, rights violations in Xinjiang and also due to the ongoing trade war with the U.S. That has also forced China to recalibrate its foreign policy so as to maintain stability on its periphery. The turmoil in Hong Kong comes at a time China is celebrating 70 years of the Republic. Madan is of the view that the happenings in Hong Kong “create space for India to take advantage of the situation”.