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Biden rolls out White House red carpet for Modi

In a clear sign that India is becoming increasingly important to the United States, the White House is set to roll out an all-out glamorous affair for India on Thursday. State Visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a state dinner.

President Joe Biden has offered the leaders of the U.S. treaty allies France’s Emmanuel Macron and South Korea’s President Yoon Seo-yeol the highest and most prestigious such invitation ever during a visit to the White House. I’ve only been there twice.

The term “official state visit” itself is unique. As the head of government, the prime minister is usually invited to an “official visit” rather than the “state visit” given to heads of state, such as monarchs, or presidents of countries where he is also the head of state. government.

The White House did not respond to questions about why Modi was granted the exception.Protocol wise it would be a step up compared to his Previous White House Visits 2014, 2016 and 2017 were “work visits”, “work lunches” and “official work visits” respectively.

Main partner

For over 20 years, US government We have treated India as an important partner. US presidents from Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama to Donald Trump have arrived in New Delhi after a 15-hour flight.

Mr. Trump also campaigned for Mr. Modi, praising the Indian leader with “Hello Modi!” in front of tens of thousands of Indian-Americans. A rally held in Texas in 2019. Modi retaliated by hosting the 2020 event “Namaste Trump” in Ahmedabad, Modi’s political hometown, where more than 100,000 spectators cheered for President Trump.

But no U.S. president has given Modi what Mr. Biden is doing this week. The honor guard arrival and departure ceremonies, a lavish dinner reception, and overnight stays at the Blair House, the official guest house across the street, are the fullest display of the White House’s respect and hospitality. White House.

FILE – US President Joe Biden (left) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meet during the G20 summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, November 15, 2022. Modi arrived in the US on Wednesday.

It will be the same all-out glamor that President Obama launched in 2009. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Modi was also invited to speak at a joint session of Congress on Thursday, his second time speaking with US lawmakers since his speech in 2016. His predecessor Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Singh spoke in 2000 and 2005.

geopolitical interests

There are at least two reasons why Mr. Biden is rolling out the red carpet for Mr. Modi. It is to strengthen India’s role in the region against China and to draw India away from Russia’s arsenal.

India is the only country that has been openly at war with China for decades. Ely Ratner, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, said that from Washington’s perspective, a strong partnership with New Delhi is critical to realizing America’s vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific. said at a recent event at the Center for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs. New American Security is a think tank working on defense and national security policy.

“A strong Indian power that can defend its interests and sovereignty is good for the United States,” he said.

Clashes have erupted between Chinese and Indian soldiers along the 3,400-kilometer disputed border between the two countries, with the final clashes taking place in December 2022. Both sides are stepping up their militarization, increasing the likelihood of escalation between their nuclear-weapon states.

Ratner said the U.S. government is supporting New Delhi’s military modernization and is working to further integrate New Delhi into the defense industrial bases of other allies such as the U.S., Japan, Australia and the Philippines. Earlier this month, Washington and New Delhi signed a defense cooperation roadmap for the next few years, a move that would boost India’s weapons manufacturing ambitions.

“A strengthening of India that can contribute to regional security through US co-production and co-development with India — there is a desire to see India as an exporter of regional security — is good for the United States.” added Ratner.

Local media reported that Modi will sign a $3 billion deal during his visit to purchase more than 20 armed Predator drones for surveillance along India’s borders with China and Pakistan.

Another potential deliverable is a technology transfer by the American General Electric Company to the state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited to produce engines for the Tejas military fighter at its own facility in Bangalore. It is.

“India also seeks confidentiality, importance and emerging technologies that the United States is often reluctant to share,” said Donald Camp, director of the US-India Policy Research Division at the Center for Strategic and International Affairs. said at a recent conference at the research institute. “So they will talk about cooperation in artificial intelligence and quantum computing.”

Micron Technology is reportedly close to investing at least $1 billion to set up a semiconductor packaging factory in India, a move that comes as the administration seeks to diversify its chip supply chain from China. A blessed deal.

Russian weapons

Tensions with China and Pakistan have long made India the world’s largest arms importer. From 2018 to 2022, China purchased 11% of the world’s arsenal, or almost half of it, from Russia, according to the report. International Arms Transfer Report By Stockholm Institute for International Peace.

Aparna Pande, director of the Hudson Institute’s India and South Asia Future Initiative, said it was one of the reasons India’s reluctance to condemn Moscow’s invasion.

He told VOA that the Ukraine war was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” for the Biden administration to free India from its dependence on Moscow. “Because the equipment is hard to come by, spare parts are not available and the actual performance is not as good.”

Russia was also India’s largest arms supplier from 2013 to 2017, accounting for 64% of India’s total arms imports. It dropped to 45% in the period from 2018 to 2022 due to increased domestic arms production in India and restrictions related to the post-2022 invasion of Ukraine.

global south

This year, India is chairing the G20, a group of 20 developing and developed countries, including the G7, the seven richest democracies in the world. The G20 summit will take place later this year and will include an agenda focused on the interests of the so-called Global South, an acronym for low- and middle-income countries.

Biden is expected to discuss with Modi the G7’s commitment to the Global South, a move to China’s developing nations that has created unsustainable levels of infrastructure debt in some countries. It is based in part on concerns about the sheer impact and China’s influence over supplies. Chains and important minerals.

A proposal to give the African Union a permanent seat on the G20 is being pushed by Prime Minister Modi. The move could be strategic for China and Russia to regain their lost positions. These countries have made a head start in building relationships with the Group’s 55 member countries: Beijing for infrastructure financing and Russia for arms exports.

Modi is also likely to discuss with Biden the thorny issue of finalizing the G20 guest list – whether to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin, to whom the country is a member. Amid threats of a boycott by G7 leaders, last year’s G20 presidency Indonesia saved diplomatic headaches by persuading Putin to send his foreign minister and inviting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to attend a virtual visit as an observer. I survived.

https://www.voanews.com/a/biden-rolls-out-white-house-red-carpet-for-modi/7144530.html Biden rolls out White House red carpet for Modi

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