Washington’s Open Hand to Narendra Modi

President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India chat ahead the G20 Summit in November 2022. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images,)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the U.S. this week has included meetings with corporate titans, congressional leaders, and top United Nations officials. But it’s Thursday’s summit with President Joe Biden that could do the most to deepen the two countries’ ties as India’s relationship with Russia evolves and as Modi and Biden discuss how best to confront a common rival: China.

The U.S. strategic partnership with India—which recently surpassed China as the world’s largest country and the United Kingdom as the fifth-largest economy—dates back more than two decades and looks to be growing stronger. Trade between the U.S. and India reached a new high in 2022 at more than $190 billion, and American officials recently unveiled plans to collaborate with India on technologies like quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and 5G wireless networks—all fields historically dominated by Beijing. That’s in addition to U.S. hopes for developing a semiconductor “ecosystem” in India by helping it build out its design, manufacturing, and fabrication capabilities of the vital technology.

But addressing threats posed by an ascendant China will also require strengthened defense cooperation with New Delhi, American officials believe.

Modi’s trip lays the groundwork for bringing these plans to fruition. The U.S. and India are expected to announce greater military technology cooperation, including, according to Indian media, a multimillion dollar deal for an Indian state-owned aerospace company to co-produce General Electric jet engines.

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