Does US President Biden have ancestral ties to India?
INDICA NEWS OFFICE –
In their first face-to-face meeting after the 2020 US election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden used warm and familiar fuzzy language to discuss the bilateral relationship, avoiding any mention of third countries while identifying challenges such as pandemic, climate change, and ensuring stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
In a lighter moment, the US president repeated a story about ancestral ties to India, where he had heard that there were five Bidens, before remarking: “All jokes aside, relations between India and the United States… is meant to be stronger and narrower. Today we kick off a new chapter and tackle some of the most difficult challenges we face in our time, starting with the pandemic. “
Prime Minister Modi said he had indeed followed the story of Biden’s personal ties to India – which the US president said came from an ancestor named George Biden who worked for the East India Company and married an Indian woman – and he had brought with him some documents for the American president to consult.
The brief moment of levity aside, the two leaders made scripted remarks that skirted hot geopolitical issues, most notably Afghanistan, save for Biden’s broad reference to the Indo-Pacific region. He brought the pandemic and climate change to the fore
The bilateral meeting took place hours before the two prime ministers were joined by the Australian and Japanese prime ministers for the first-ever in-person Quad summit which ostensibly aims to address the challenges of an expansionist China.
As with his meeting with US Vice President Kamala Harris, Modi was personally enthusiastic about Biden, praising his “inspiring vision” of the US-India partnership and his efforts and initiatives to make that vision a reality. The coming decade will be a “time of transformation” in the relationship, he said.
Biden recanted all personal praise, but spoke of the democratic foundation in both countries.
“Our partnership is more than what we do. It’s about who we are… our democratic values, our diversity and our family ties which include 4 million Indian-Americans who make the United States stronger, ”said the US president, citing the Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday next week to point out that “his message of non-violence and tolerance matters more than ever.
Even at the start of the meeting, Biden remarked that the seat he led Modi to is occupied almost every day by an American Indian – a reference to his vice president Kamala Harris, whose mother, the president recalled. American, was a scientist and a “remarkable” woman from India.
As the two leaders have given general direction indicating their desire for a further improvement in the relationship, Sherpas on both sides are working on the fine print that should detail new areas of cooperation, including resolving supply chain issues. which can compensate for the dependence on China, the exchange of advanced technologies and the means to ensure an open and secure Indo-Pacific in cooperation with other Quad partners.