From The New York Times (link):
President George Bush travels to India March 1 for the first time in his presidency, highlighting the increasingly important role New Delhi is playing in world affairs. Many analysts see a stronger U.S. relationship with India as part of a longer-term effort to check China’s influence in Asia. India’s leaders have dismissed suggestions their country should be part of any U.S. containment strategy toward China and have cited the importance of booming economic ties with China. But officials in both New Delhi and Washington have stressed what they term is a “natural” partnership based on their traditions as large, multiethnic democracies.