Washington: Congressman Paul Ryan, the running mate of Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, is a strong supporter of Indo-US ties and had suggested that every member of the Congress should visit India as that nation shares many of America's "core principles and interests".
Ryan, who had voted in favour of the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal and was quick to express his condolences for the Sikh victims last week, was today selected by Romney as his vice presidential running mate.
Part of a Congressional delegation led by the then Speaker of the US House of Representatives in 2006 that visited India, he termed the trip as an "eye opener". He had also termed India as a rising democratic power in the world.
"I think every member of Congress should go to India to see for themselves the kind of global challenges and opportunities that face us as India emerges. It was a real eye-opener," Ryan had said way back in April 2006 after he returned from India.
Ryan had said his India visit was to gain a better understanding of India's commitment to a joint Indo-US civilian nuclear cooperation agreement, and gain insight into the economic challenges and opportunities an emerging India poses for America.
He is a seven term Congressman from Wisconsin, which last week witnessed a tragic shooting incident in a Gurdwara that left six people dead.
"My thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families, and everyone in Oak Creek who has been impacted by this tragic act of violence," he had said after the incident.
Deeply saddened by the malicious crime, Ryan said: "As additional details are gathered, I am hopeful that we will all come together, united in a shared desire for peace and justice, and stand with the Sikh community as we grieve this loss of life."
During his trip that took him to New Delhi and Jaipur, he pressed for fair trade from India and for US-made goods and services.
According to his Congressional office, Ryan during his trip met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the then Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
According to publicly available documents, Ryan had also supported the, move of Export-Import Bank to provide loan guarantee to Reliance Power's power plant in India.
Since his India trip, Ryan has called for stronger ties with India identifying it as a "rising power", which he expressed recently in a speech to the Hamilton Society in Washington, wherein he was highly critical of the foreign policy of the Obama administration.
"Obama administration has taken our allies for granted and accepted too willingly the decline of their capacity for international action. Our alliances were vital to our victory in the Cold War and they need to be revitalised to see us through the 21st century," he said.
"We must also embrace the opportunities that trade offers to strengthen our ties of friendship. The administration finally is no longer impeding long-overdue free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama. These agreements serve our mutual political and economic interests, and they should be sent forward for the prompt consideration of Congress," he said.
"Part of revitalising our network of friendships and alliances is expanding that network to include the rising democratic powers of India and Brazil, which share many of our core principles and interests," said Ryan.
"We also have to meet the challenge of rising powers with very different values and interests from our own and of the broader community, most notably China. The key question for American policymakers is whether we are competing with China for leadership of the international system or against them over the fundamental nature of that system," Ryan said.
First Published: Saturday, August 11, 2012, 20:29