India, China moving up: Obama

US leader reminds Americans they are facing competitive global environment.

Washington: Reminding Americans that they are facing a highly competitive global environment, US President Barack Obama has said that India and China have got "some very talented" people and are moving up the ladder.

"We are in a very competitive environment, where other countries like China and India have now caught up -- in some indicators -- and are going to keep on moving because they are hungry and they`ve got some very talented people," Obama said in his remarks at a Democratic Party fundraiser in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Campaigning for the Democratic party ahead of the November Congressional polls, Obama said yesterday that the challenges that the US has confronted over these last two years have been extraordinary.

"We`ve got a long way to go. This country received a body-blow. It was already having difficulties competitively. It was already falling behind educationally. We had a healthcare system that was broken, a middle class that hadn`t seen its incomes or wages go up at the same time as their costs were skyrocketing for everything from college tuition to healthcare," he said, adding that the recovery has been painfully slow.

After being in this job for about two years, Obama said, he has never been more optimistic about America.

"I am optimistic partly because we did some really tough things that aren`t always popular but were the right things to do," he said.

"We had initiated an education reform agenda that is shaking up the education system all across the country. And I`ve got a terrific Secretary of Education who`s been able to get teachers, principals, students -- sometimes there`s some contentiousness about it, but everybody focused on how are we going to lift up performance for all our kids so they can compete in a global economy," Obama said.

The US President said his administration has made the largest investment in research and development in the American history.

"We`d been falling behind and now we are back at the forefront of R&D. We made the largest investment in green energy in our history so that we could start building solar panels and wind turbines all around the country," he said.

In the foreign policy, he said, the US has reset its relations around the world.

"A lot of people who travel will come back and say to me, you know, folks are once again looking to America for leadership in a way that they haven`t for a long time," he said.

"We have ended our combat mission in Iraq. We are initiating Middle East peace once again; I had the parties at the table. Old adversaries like Russia are now cooperating with us, and we just got a nuclear arms reduction treaty out of the Senate committee today and we hope to get it ratified before the end of the year," Obama said.


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