With his two stops in Washington and New York, Prime Minister Narendra Modi leaves for the US on a three-day visit on Wednesday. This trip will be the first trip of the Prime Minister since March last year when he visited Bangladesh. The White House on Monday revealed that the US President Joe Biden will hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Modi on the margins of the Quad meeting in Washington on Friday. The President will also meet separately with Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, says the White House.
The major highlight of Modi’s visit to the US will be the meeting of the leaders of the four Quad countries- The US, India, Japan and Australia- which have general interests- primary, a free and open Indo-Pacific, against the backdrop of China’s military muscle flexing. Earlier this year on March 12th, the countries had held a virtual summit to boost covid vaccine production for Indo-Pacific countries. With an agreement that India would manufacture the vaccines with a Hyderabad-based plant with materials received from Johnson & Johnson which will be funded by Japan and further distributed by Australia in the Indo-Pacific region.
The most possible take away from the meeting would be an understanding on creating a safe supply chain for semiconductors, which would signal that the alliance meant to counter China in the Indo-Pacific is at its best scope. Considering the fact that Chinese manufacturers presently are aggressively investing in the chip-making to ramp up capacity for widely used semiconductors. The Quad countries may also proclaim an infrastructure proposal to take on China’s Belt and Road initiative. However, the recent issues and situation in Afghanistan, China’s territorial hostility, the Australian-UK-US-pact on nuclear submarines, and climate change are some of the expected discussions.
Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to reach New York on 24 September, where he will be the first speaker at the 76th UN General Assembly session on 25 September. “Building resilience through hope” post the pandemic is one of the themes of the session this year, as is “revitalizing the UN”. Later as per the schedule, Modi is expected to hold bilateral talks with US President Joe Biden, Australian PM Scott Morrison and Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga.