Washington: Observing that India is a key part of the Obama Administration`s "Asia rebalance", a top Pentagon official on Thursday said his country`s security interest with New Delhi converges on maritime security and broader regional issues, including its "Look East" policy.
"India - a key part of our rebalance, and, more broadly, an emerging power that we believe will help determine the broader security and prosperity of the 21st century. Our security interests with India converge on maritime security and broader regional issues, including India`s "Look East" policy," Deputy Secretary of Defence Ashton B Carter told a conference in Jakarta.
"We also are working to deepen our defence cooperation - moving beyond purely defence trade towards technology sharing and co-production," Carter said.
Carter in fact is the Pentagon`s point man on working with India to address the bureaucratic challenges that hinders Indo-US defence trade.
On China, Carter said the US has invited China to participate in the RIMPAC exercise.
"We are delighted that they have accepted. We seek to strengthen and grow our military-to-military relationship with China, which matches and follows our growing political and economic relationship," he said.
Carter said the US recognises the importance of strengthening regional institutions like ASEAN that play an indispensable role in maintaining regional stability and resolving disputes through diplomacy.
"We strongly support ASEAN unity and we applaud the efforts of ASEAN member nations and China to develop a binding code of conduct that would create a rules-based framework for regulating the conduct of parties in the South China Sea," he said.
Explaining US`s rebalance to Asia, he said the logic is simple: the Asia-Pacific theatre has enjoyed peace and stability for over sixty year.
"This has been true despite the fact that there is no formal, overarching security structure, no NATO, to make sure that historical wounds are healed.
And during that time, first Japan rose and prospered, then South Korea rose and prospered, then many nations in Southeast Asia rose and prospered. And now, China and India rise and prosper. And that`s a good thing," he said.