Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday opened a state visit to Washington as the United States steps up its wooing of India despite simmering disagreements on Ukraine and human rights.

U.S. President Joe Biden is putting on the full pomp for only the third state visitor of his administration, with the billion-plus country seen as a pivotal partner in a growing global competition with China.

Modi — flying in from New York, where he exerted Indian soft power with a public yoga demonstration — kicked off his visit with an intimate private dinner with Biden at the White House.