Washington: Aiming to strengthen its ties
with countries in the Asia-Pacific region, the US has said
it wants to actively support India`s Look East policy and is
committed to broader, deeper and more purposeful ties with it.
"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,
"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
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
"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.