'Indo-US ties one of the defining 21st century partnerships'
Washington: Describing America's relations with India as one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century, the US on Monday said that it "fervently" supports India's rise.
"The President considers US relations with India, the world's largest democracy, to be 'one of the defining partnerships of the twenty-first century'", National Security Adviser to the US President Tom Donilon said in his address to the Asia Society in New York.
"From Prime Minister Singh's visit in 2009 to the President's trip to India in 2010, the US has made clear at every turn that we don't just accept India's rise, we fervently support it," Donilon said.
"US and Indian interests powerfully converge in the Asia-Pacific, where India has much to give and much to gain. Southeast Asia begins in Northeast India, and we welcome India's efforts to 'look East', from supporting reforms in Burma to trilateral cooperation with Japan to promoting maritime security," he said.
"In the past year, for example, India-ASEAN trade increased by 37 per cent to USD 80 billion," Donilon pointed out in his major foreign policy speech on Asia.
He spoke on efforts of the White House on building new relationship in the region.
Donilon said the overarching objective of the US in the region is to sustain a stable security environment and a regional order rooted in economic openness, peaceful resolution of disputes, and respect for universal rights and freedoms.
"To pursue this vision, the US is implementing a comprehensive, multidimensional strategy: strengthening alliances; deepening partnerships with emerging powers; building a stable, productive, and constructive relationship with China; empowering regional institutions; and helping to build a regional economic architecture that can sustain shared prosperity," he said.
"These are the pillars of the US strategy, and re-balancing means devoting the time, effort and resources necessary to get each one right," Donilan said.
"Here's what re-balancing does not mean. It doesn't mean diminishing ties to important partners in any other region. It does not mean containing China or seeking to dictate terms to Asia. And it isn't just a matter of our military presence," he said.
"It is an effort that harnesses all elements of US power -- military, political, trade and investment, development and our values," he said.
"Perhaps most telling, this re-balance is reflected in the most valuable commodity in Washington: the President's time. It says a great deal, for instance, that President Barack Obama made the determination that the US would participate every year in the East Asia Summit at the Head of State level and hold US-ASEAN summits," Donilan said.
"He (Obama) has met bilaterally with nearly every leader in Southeast Asia, either in the region or in Washington; and that he has engaged with China at an unprecedented pace, including twelve face-to-face meetings with Hu Jintao," the top Obama Adviser said.
In his speech Donilon specified India and Indonesia as the two countries to build new relationship.
"The United States has also worked hard to realise Indonesia's potential as a global partner. We have put in place a wide-ranging comprehensive partnership. We have welcomed Indonesia's vigorous participation in the region's multilateral forums, including hosting APEC and promoting ASEAN unity," he said.
"We are also working with Indonesia and Brunei on a major new initiative to mobilise capital to help bring clean and sustainable energy to the Asia-Pacific. And, of course, no US President has ever had closer personal ties to an Asia-Pacific nation than President Obama does with Indonesia, a warm relationship that was on full display in November 2010 when the President visited Jakarta," Donilon said.