India must act as Asian economic anchor:US

Washington: With a long term strategic partnership with India, the US wants to support its ability to serve as an "economic anchor" in the Asia Pacific region where it is already driving economic development along with another giant China, a top US commander has said.

Commander of the US Pacific Command, Admiral Robert Willard, said President Barack Obama`s new defence strategy, unveiled this week, underlines the growing importance of the Asia Pacific region. He said from the high growth driven by Asian tiger economies to the emergence of giants India and China, the region has continued to be a centre of immense activity.

"At one point, it was, Asian tigers, and now we look at China and India and there are two Asian giants that are driving the economic developments in the region," Willard said delivering the keynote address at the Hawaii Military Partnership Conference.

He said the new Defence Strategic Review unveiled by President Obama stresses on building relationship with India, as the US increases its presence in the Asia-Pacific region where the US economic and security interests come across a mix of evolving "challenges and opportunities".

With changing global dynamics, the US out of necessity aims to "rebalance" towards the Asia-Pacific region, he said. "The United States is also investing in a long-term strategic partnership with India to support its ability to serve as a regional economic anchor and provide for the security in the broader Indian Ocean region. Our relationships with Asian allies and key partners are critical to the future stability and growth of the region. We will emphasise our existing alliances, which provide a vital foundation for Asia-Pacific security, he said.