NEW DELHI, India—President Joe Biden landed in India’s capital, New Delhi, on Friday at 6:46 p.m. local time to attend the Group of 20 (G20) meeting, which will bring together the leaders of the world’s top economies in New Delhi this weekend.
Soon after his arrival, the president held a bilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss a number of issues related to trade, supply chains, and critical and emerging technologies.
The White House views the relationship with India as the most essential bilateral partnership. The United States and India are both concerned about China’s expanding global influence.
“I believe that the most important bilateral relationship in the 21st century for the United States will be with India,” Kurt Campbell, National Security Council Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, told reporters following the bilateral meeting in New Delhi.
In June, Mr. Modi received a warm welcome at the White House during a four-day state visit to Washington, where both leaders issued a lengthy joint statement and a long list of objectives centered on economic security, defense, and strategic partnership.
The Biden administration sees India as a crucial regional manufacturing base for companies seeking to leave China. Hence, shifting supply chains to India from China is an important part of this growing dialogue.
Before the meeting, national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters that both leaders would be focusing on several investment and trade matters, including the production of GE jet engines in India and the procurement of MQ-9 Reapers drones.
“We will see meaningful progress on a number of issues, including the GE jet engine issue, the MQ-9 Reapers, on 5G/6G, on collaboration on critical and emerging technologies, and progress also in the civil nuclear area as well,” Sullivan said on board Air Force One.
What Does Biden Expect From G20?
The president will use the summit as an opportunity to sell the strength of the U.S. economy and draw contrasts with China’s growing economic troubles as he tries to position the United States as a more reliable partner.
President Biden’s trip to Asia comes amid escalating geopolitical competition with China and Washington’s efforts to strengthen alliances and partnerships with nations, particularly in the Global South.
His key priority at the crucial meeting is to propose strengthening multilateral development banks, particularly the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as an alternative to China’s “coercive” lending program, according to the White House.
While China has become the world’s largest creditor in recent years, its aggressive lending strategy under the Belt and Road Initiative has been criticized by other countries for its lack of transparency.
“We believe that there should be a high standard of non-coercive lending options available to low- and middle-income countries,” Mr. Sullivan said at a press briefing on Sept. 5.
However, Chinese leader Xi Jinping won’t be attending the summit in New Delhi. Instead, Premier Li Qiang will represent Beijing at this year’s meeting.
In the absence of Mr. Xi at the summit, President Biden hopes to rally other countries against the Chinese regime’s controversial lending practices, and he has already received Mr. Modi’s support on this matter.
Reforms for multilateral development banks “have been of critical importance with India, particularly around mechanisms dealing with debt,” Mr. Campbell told reporters. “Many of the countries in their backyard have experienced deep debt problems with China, and they have worked with us constructively on those issues.”
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Friday that the administration is asking other G20 partners to enhance the financial capacity of multilateral development banks.
“We have asked other countries to join with us to the extent that they’re able to in this initiative, and we are hopeful that other countries, depending on their financial capacity, will join us,” Ms. Yellen said at a press briefing on the sidelines of the G20 summit in India.
" Conservative News Daily does not always share or support the views and opinions expressed here; they are just those of the writer."