News / Asia

Biden’s India Visit Is Key in Asia 'Rebalance' Strategy

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) shakes hands with Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari as they pose for the media before a meeting in New Delhi, India, July 23, 2013.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) shakes hands with Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari as they pose for the media before a meeting in New Delhi, India, July 23, 2013.
Aru Pande
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is in India for a four-day visit aimed at strengthening economic and defense ties. The U.S. sees India as an important part of the Obama administration's "rebalance" toward Asia.
 
Biden’s visit is the first to India by an American vice president in three decades, and follows U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s trip by just a few weeks.
 
The renewed U.S. attention on India in recent months comes less than two years after the Obama administration named the South Asian country as a key player in its pivot, or rebalance, toward the Asia-Pacific region.
 
Gopalan Balachandran, a consulting fellow with the New Delhi-based Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses, said, “It’s not as if Asia economies are growing a hundred times and the rest are all standing still, and you say ‘okay, I will keep [seeing] Asia the same way like I did 10 years ago or even 15 or 20 years ago.’ It’s not possible. To some extent, the rebalancing is necessitated by changes in the global environment, both in politics and the economy."

Working strategically

In an interview with the Times of India newspaper this week, Biden noted that the “winding down of two wars” has allowed the United States to “turn to opportunities that reflect the realities of the fast-changing world.”
 
He spoke of the need for India, China and the United States to work together to advance common economic and security interests.
 
C. Raja Mohan, with the Observer Research Foundation, said both New Delhi and Washington share the common goal of not wanting an Asia that is dominated by China.
 
“But at the same time, India is not going to be a traditional ally of the U.S. eager to balance or counter China’s efforts. I think the shared objective for the U.S. and India is how do we structure a stable balance of power in Asia - and between that - there is much room for India and the U.S. to collaborate,” said Mohan.
 
This potential collaboration is a focus of the American vice president’s visit, as Biden aims to deepen economic, defense and energy ties. Key among the goals is to boost bilateral trade that currently stands at $100 billion.  

Advancing mutual interests

Increasing economic cooperation is not without its challenges. Some American companies have expressed frustration at what they see as India’s unfriendly investment climate. For its part, India has called for a U.S. immigration policy that will make it easier for highly skilled Indian workers to enter the American job market.
 
Despite these hurdles, Mohan said the U.S.-India relationship has come a long way in the last decade.
 
“If anybody would have said that India-U.S. cooperation would be as strong and as dynamic as it is today, few would have believed this proposition at that point of time. The fact is that because expectations have risen so much, there are disappointments on both sides," said Mohan.
 
Analysts say while such disagreements may not be resolved, Biden’s visit will go a long way toward consolidating progress and restoring political trust between the two nations.

Biden's schedule on Tuesday includes talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is expected to make his own visit to the United States later this year.
 
Biden then will travel to Mumbai on Wednesday to give a policy speech at the Bombay Stock Exchange and meet with business leaders before leaving for Singapore on Thursday.

You May Like

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ashim kumar Chatterjee from: Delhi
July 24, 2013 6:13 AM
Biden visit is a middle page news in leading newspaper and 4th or 5th item in newscasts in TV channels. I visited VOA and find it is no different. This speaks volumes about the state of affairs. While Biden was shaking hands and saying hi how are you, substantive joint secretary level talks were going on between Chinese & Indian officials for defense cooperation. And yes - one does not know how true it was- one read a report which said China was willing to invest US $ 125 billions in Andhra Pradesh alone. India is the balancing factor in Asia. US India cooperation in defense, civil nuclear deal and technology can be attractive if US invests 6 trillion, which it spent in Afpak war on India's terms. Consumer is king.

by: Harry from: Texas
July 23, 2013 11:21 AM
Bilateral relationship with India should not follow the old model of domination but of mutual respect and benefit for both countries. The complaint by business is based on the old model; change to a model of mutual benefit and you will earn the most important friendship ever.

by: JohnL
July 23, 2013 10:49 AM
Only a government-funded media entity could find significance in a visit of our vice president to India. As a long time analyst who once taught at Punjab University and wrote a book about Indian economic development I can confidently assure your readers that the visit means nothing, will be quickly forgotten, and will have absolutely no impact on anything. Until India massively reforms its bureaucracy and regulations India will continue to stagnate economically at the very bottom of the world's economy and export the best and the brightest of its people. The so-called "growth" reported by the government is similar to the growth reported by the old soviet union, a total fabrication with each ministry reporting that it exceeded its goals under the latest five year plan. Nothing will change until India either elects a strong leader or the people say "enough" and there is a revolution. The latter is more likely.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festivali
X
April 24, 2015 4:09 AM
Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Keeping Washington Airspace Safe Is Tall Order

Being the home of all three branches of the U.S. federal government makes Washington, D.C. the prime target for those who want to make their messages and ideas heard. Unfortunately, many of them choose to deliver them in unorthodox ways, including from the air, as a recent incident clearly showed involving a gyrocopter landing on the Capitol’s West Lawn. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.

VOA Blogs