(NewsNation) — President Joe Biden will arrive in India on Friday, one day ahead of the annual meeting of the Group of 20 summit as he seeks to tighten to relations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Biden’s one-on-one meeting with with Modi, as well as the G20 summit, comes amid growing tension with China. One of the top goals for the U.S. will be to try to counter China’s growing influence in parts of the world.
Discussion is expected on the World Bank, as the U.S. continues to try and build investments in low- and middle-income countries that borrow from China for infrastructure and other projects. Biden’s team has already asked Congress to approve $3 billion for the World Bank.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will not be attending the summit. China offered no reason for why he would be sitting out.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said this week the U.S. still looked forward to speaking with other leaders from China.
“China will be represented at some level, not at the presidential level, but they have representatives there, and hopefully they’ll be active participants in these discussions,” he told NewsNation. “Hopefully, they`ll either work with us or our other G20 partners at trying to find some real solutions here.”
In June, Biden welcomed India’s prime minister at the White House for an official state visit. With 1.4 billion people, India could play a big role in shifting supply chains away from China.
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.
Boosting military ties between the U.S. and India may also help counter some of China’s aggressive tactics, particularly in Indo-Pacific region.
India has also faced some criticism for not condemning Russia for the war in Ukraine, and for human rights and press freedom issues raised by members of Congress.
Many will also be watching Biden’s health, after the first lady tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. The president has tested negative multiple times since then, but his team says he will wear a mask indoors during the summit as a precaution.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.