Washington: For the second time in less than two months, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said that the country is facing challenges from rising powers in Asia - China in particular and also includes India - in 21st century.
"We have got the challenges of dealing with rising powers in Asia. We have got the challenge of, you know, dealing with countries like Russia, rising countries that - like India and others.
"All of that represents the kind of challenges that we are going to have to deal with in this world of the 21st century," Panetta told PBS News Hour in an interview.
A transcript of the interview, taken yesterday, was provided by PBS News Hour.
Panetta`s remarks came within hours of the Pentagon releasing its defense strategic review which said that the US is investing in long-term strategic partnership with India.
The strategy document unveiled by the US President Barack Obama identified China as one of the major security threat to the US in the long term and puts Asia on a bigger priority.
"The United States is investing in a long-term strategic partnership with India to support its ability to serve as a regional economic anchor and provider of security in the broader Indian Ocean region," said the strategy document.
Earlier on Thursday at a Pentagon news conference, Panetta had said that the US faces challenges from rising powers in Asia, but had not named any country. "We`re facing challenges from rising powers in Asia. And we`re facing a situation in the Middle East that continues to be in turmoil.”
"So, what we`ve got to do is to be able to have a flexible, adaptable, agile force that can deal with a myriad of challenges in today`s world. That`s what we`ve got to be able to develop," he told the PBS in his interview.