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Joe Biden and Narendra Modi are certainly putting

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President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are certainly putting in the time to cultivate their relationship.


Less than three months after honoring Modi with a state visit to the White House, Biden is to arrive in New Delhi on Friday — a day before the start of the Group of 20 summit there — to squeeze in another round of one-on-one talks with the leader of the world’s most populous nation.


There have been more than a dozen in-person or virtual engagements between the leaders since 2021 as both have looked to tighten the U.S.-India partnership amid shared major concerns. Those include an increasingly assertive China and monumental challenges posed by climate change, artificial intelligence, global supply chain resilience and other issues.


Modi has heavily branded the summit as his own. The Indian prime minister has pictures of himself posted along the highway from the airport, greeting G20 delegates with quotes about the need to address climate change. As a result, Biden will be something of a houseguest when he meets with his Indian counterpart.


Biden and Narendra Modi look to tighten US-India ties as concerns rise over China

The leaders have looked to tighten the U.S.-India partnership amid shared concerns over an increasingly assertive China, climate change, artificial intelligence and global supply chains.


“This meeting will be taking place at the prime minister’s residence — so it is unusual in that respect,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters aboard Air Force One. “This is not your typical bilateral visit to India with meetings taking place in the prime minister’s office.”


Biden, a center-left Democrat, and Modi, a conservative Hindu nationalist, are hardly ideological soulmates. Yet, both leaders are increasingly drawn together by China’s military and economic maneuverings in the Indo-Pacific.


India late last month lodged an objection through diplomatic channels with Beijing over China’s new standard map that lays claim to India’s territory along their shared border.


The version of the Chinese map published by the Ministry of Natural Resources website shows Arunachal Pradesh and the Doklam Plateau — over which the two sides have feuded — included within Chinese borders, along with Aksai Chin in the western section that China controls but India still claims. The Philippines and Malaysia have also lodged protests over the new Chinese map.,output


The map was released just days after Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping met on the sidelines of a summit of the BRICS bloc of developing economies — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — and agreed to work to de-escalate tensions at their disputed border.


China and India have had thousands of troops facing off in a disputed region of the Himalayas since 2020, when skirmishes led to the first deadly clashes in decades. Both countries are nuclear armed.


China, which is also a member of the G20, has said that Xi will not attend this weekend’s India summit and is instead dispatching Premier Li Qiang to represent China.


Vice President Kamala Harris, in an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press on the sidelines of a summit of Southeast Asian leaders in Indonesia, spoke out against China’s new map.


“It’s a violation of the law. And that’s where I put that map,” Harris told the AP.


The U.S. government outreach goes beyond Biden. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told reporters on Friday that the G20 is her fourth trip to India in the past year, making it the country she’s visited most. Yellen said India has shown leadership in helping to provide loans to developing nations as well as provide debt relief when needed.


The White House has been tight-lipped about what, if any, major announcements will come out of Biden’s latest talks with Modi. But the administration seems eager to build on the momentum from the June state visit, which included announcements on climate, health care and space as well as some major private sector projects.


The two sides set the groundwork for U.S.-based General Electric to partner with India-based Hindustan Aeronautics to produce jet engines for Indian aircraft in India and the sale of U.S.-made armed MQ-9B SeaGuardian drones. U.S.-based Micron Technology agreed to build a $2.75 billion semiconductor assembly and test facility in India, with Micron spending more than $800 million and India financing the rest. The administration also plans to discuss civil nuclear issues.

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Joe Biden and Narendra Modi are certainly putting