Biden is off to India and Vietnam. It’s part of his push to counter China’s influence

President Biden is visiting India and Vietnam, aiming to counter China’s increasing influence by strengthening relationships with these key Asian countries.

The situation: Biden is set to meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi and will attend the G20 summit that India is hosting.
* Biden plans to enhance the clout of two key international financial institutions, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as an alternative to Chinese lending initiatives like the Belt and Road Initiative.

Vietnam visit: Biden’s trip to Hanoi is expected to focus on boosting economic cooperation.
* This signifies a notable shift in relations as Vietnam, led by the Communist Party, only normalized relations with the U.S. in 1995.
* The U.S. has since become Vietnam’s largest export market.

Efforts to counter China: Biden’s agenda aims to balance China’s presence by establishing solid bonds with countries in the region.
* The withdrawal of Chinese president Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin from the G20 summit may provide more room for Biden’s plans.
* He is also pushing for $2 billion funding from Congress for the World Bank and IMF.

Challenges and implications: While Biden’s plans present a different lending alternative than China’s “coercive” strategies, it also walks a fine line of not directly antagonizing China, a member of the World Bank.
* Experts assert that a strong global system for providing loans to developing nations is crucial and that the U.S. needs to lead in this aspect.

View original article on NPR

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