WASHINGTON - Vice President Joseph Biden left for Asia today, kicking off six days of diplomatic events in India and Singapore. The trip comes as U.S. foreign policy has increasingly shifted toward the region; Secretary of State John Kerry visited India less than a month ago during an overseas tour.
Accompanied by Dr. Jill Biden, the vice president is scheduled to meet with India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pranab Mukherjee for what the White House has billed as discussions including the economy, energy, and security concerns. He also plans to deliver remarks to the Bombay stock exchange and women teaching at the India Institute of Technology in separate events.
In Singapore, Biden is expected to hold similar talks with that country's Prime Minister Lee and President Tony Tan, as well as Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Afterwards he plans to visit an American-owned Pratt and Whitney aircraft facility and the USS Freedom, currently deployed to the region.
On Thursday the vice president said the U.S. wanted to help foster "an Asian-Pacific order" to deliver security and economic prosperity for those countries.
"We want to help lead in creating 21 st century rules of the road that will benefit not only the United States, and the region, but the world as a whole," he said in remarks at George Washington University.
He also said he viewed the nation's relationship with China as "a healthy mix of competition and cooperation."