US President Joe Biden plans to invite Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a state dinner this summer as a demonstration of the developing US-Indian relations amid growing concerns about China’s threat in the Indo-Pacific region. The White House intends for the state dinner to take place in June, although reports suggest that the timetable may change.
The state dinner invitation comes as the Biden administration promotes policies and initiatives for a free and open Indo-Pacific to counter the perceived growing threat posed by China. The US-India partnership on critical technologies aims to reduce New Delhi’s reliance on Moscow for military hardware and counter China’s growing assertiveness in the region. The two countries unveiled the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies last month, a proposal to exchange advanced defence and computer technology, including the joint production of General Electric Co. aircraft engines.
The upcoming state visit is Biden’s third official state visit and dinner, following ones for French President Emmanuel Macron in December and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on April 26. Biden is also expected to meet with PM Modi in Australia in May during the Quad Summit, where the leaders of Australia and Japan will convene.
In September, India will host the Group of 20 leaders meeting in New Delhi, where one of the main subjects of discussion is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It remains unclear whether Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the meeting. While India has not been as outspoken against Putin’s war in Ukraine as the US and its allies would like, the partnership on critical technologies is intended in part to counter Russian influence in India.
The state dinner invitation further underscores the US commitment to strengthening its partnership with India, particularly in the face of a growing Chinese threat in the Indo-Pacific region.