Washington, Nov 5: Noting that ‘India’s rise will reshape the international system’ a top US official has said that Washington seeks a 21st century Asia-Pacific in which India, the US and China all enjoy good relations.
‘To paraphrase India’s National Security Advisor, I have no doubt that Asia and the world are big enough for the three of us – if we want them to be,’ Deputy Secretary William Burns said outlining US Strategy for the Asia-Pacific Friday.
‘Soon to be the world’s most populous country, and already the world’s biggest democracy, with an economy likely to be the world’s third largest within two decades, India’s rise will reshape the international system,’ he said at World Affairs Councils of America National Conference here.
Noting that President Barack Obama said that India will be ‘one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century,’ he said: ‘We also want it to be one of the defining partnerships in the Asia-Pacific.’
‘India is already a powerful economic and cultural presence in East Asia, and has built a vast network of economic agreements and security arrangements with partners like Japan, South Korea, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Vietnam,’ Burns said.
India’s outreach is growing toward a comprehensive vision for the East Asia region-a ‘Look East’ policy that is becoming an ‘Act East’ policy, he said.
‘That’s why, last year, our two countries launched a strategic dialogue on the Asia-Pacific to ensure that the world’s two largest democracies pursue strategies that reinforce one another,’ Burns said.
Hoping that India will join the US in working to strengthen Asia’s many regional institutions, he said: ‘An architecture of free trade and investment that connects India to Southeast and East Asia will have a profound impact on global trade and economic growth.’
‘And let me explicitly state that the 21st century Asia-Pacific we seek is one in which India, the United States, and China all enjoy good relations,’ Burns said.
‘Whatever our differences, we know that, as this century advances, fewer and fewer global problems will be solvable without constructive cooperation amongst our three great countries.’
The US, he said, was also reaching out to build new partnerships across the region ‘to build networks of cooperation that will create a peaceful and prosperous Asia-Pacific.’
(Arun Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)