New Delhi, Sep 10 (EFE).- United States President Joe Biden left India for Vietnam on Sunday after having participated in the G20 leaders’ summit in New Delhi, notable for the African Union’s inclusion into the group and the proposal of measures to apparently counter China’s growing economic influence.
Biden’s two-day visit to Vietnam is expected to focus on strengthening diplomatic relations against China’s growing influence in the region.
The presidential plane, Air Force One, took off from Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi at 10.39 local time (5.09 GMT).
During the G20 summit, Biden managed to get the European Union, India, Saudi Arabia and other countries to agree to collaborate in the development of an ambitious infrastructure megaproject involving railways, ports and energy connections as an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
In addition, the G20 leaders issued a joint statement urging “all states” to respect territorial integrity and to avoid “use of force to seek territorial acquisition,” but refrained from a direct condemnation of the Ukrainian war.
A notable moment came when Biden greeted Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman with a handshake during one of the events on the sidelines of the summit.
Bin Salman and Biden had not publicly interacted since the US president’s visit to the Saudi city of Jeddah in July 2022.
This however had led to the US president facing criticism back home following a CIA investigation concluding that the Saudi crown prince was behind the killing of The Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi embassy in Turkey in 2018.
At New Delhi, Biden also interacted with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, and held bilateral meetings with South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Indonesian President Joko Widodo, whom he invited to Washington in November.
In Vietnam, Biden is expected to hold meetings with the all powerful Communist Party’s General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and President Vo Van Thuong, as well as several businessmen.
The two countries are expected to sign an agreement that would make them “strategic partners,” one of the latest developments in the US’ strategy to contain China’s growing military and economic clout in the region, especially the South China Sea.
China is embroiled in territorial disputes with many countries, among them Vietnam, in the South China Sea, which it claims almost entirely as its own. EFE