US to support Look East policy of India: Clinton
"Our ability to build a successful regional architecture will turn on our ability to work effectively with the emerging powers, countries like Indonesia, or India, Singapore, New Zealand, Malaysia, Mongolia, Vietnam, Brunei, and the Pacific Island countries," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in her remarks at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.
As such the US is making a concerted effort to build closer and more extensive partnerships with all these nations, she said.
"India and Indonesia in particular are two of the most dynamic and significant democratic powers in the world, and the United States is committed to broader, deeper, more purposeful relations with each. And we want to actively support India`s Look East policy as it grows into an Act East policy," Clinton said.
From the very beginning, the Obama administration embraced the importance of the Asia Pacific region, she said.
Clinton said that so many global trends point to Asia — it is home to nearly half the world`s population, it boasts several of the largest and fastest-growing economies and some of the world`s busiest ports and shipping lanes, and it also presents consequential challenges such as military build-ups, concerns about the proliferation of nuclear weapons, natural disasters, and the world`s worst levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
It is becoming increasingly clear that in the 21st century, the world`s strategic and economic centre of gravity will be the Asia Pacific, from the Indian subcontinent to the western shores of Americas, Clinton said.
And one of the most important tasks of American statecraft over the next decades will be to lock in a substantially increased investment ? diplomatic, economic, strategic and otherwise ? in this region, she said.
"Just as the United States played a central role in shaping that architecture across the Atlantic ? to ensure that it worked, for us and for everyone else ? we are now doing the same across the Pacific. The 21st century will be America`s Pacific century, a period of unprecedented outreach and partnership in this dynamic, complex and consequential region," she said.
"We are moving ahead on six key lines of action… They are: strengthening our bilateral security alliances; deepening our working relationships with emerging powers; engaging with regional multilateral institutions; expanding trade and investment; forging a broad-based military presence; and advancing democracy and human rights," Clinton said.
In the next two weeks, the Obama administration will make progress on all of these fronts, she said. "I will join President (Barack) Obama as he hosts the APEC Leaders` Meeting right here in Honolulu, and next week in Indonesia as he becomes the first American President to attend the East Asia Summit".
"We will also place special emphasis on engaging each of our five treaty allies, starting with the President`s extended meeting with Japanese Prime Minister (Yoshihiko) Noda here in Hawaii. The President will then go on to Australia, and I will travel to the Philippines and Thailand. And later this month, I`ll visit South Korea for the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness," she added.