Washington: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said Asia will occupy the centrestage in strategic and economic affairs in the 21st century.
Hillary’s speech at the Asia Pacific Economic Conference (APEC) in Hawaii indicated that the western hemisphere’s influence in the world was rapidly waning, and the US was shifting its focus from Europe to Asia.
"It is becoming increasingly clear that the world`s strategic and economic centre of gravity will be the Asia-Pacific, from the Indian subcontinent to western shores of the Americas," the Independent quoted Hillary, as saying.
"One of the most important tasks of American statecraft over the next decade will be to lock in a substantially increased investment in this region," she added.
The speech indicated that the US would enhance trade with its neighbouring nations in the Pacific region.
US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner also echoed Hillary`s views.
"We are all directly affected by the crisis in Europe. But the economies gathered here are in a better position than most to take steps to strengthen growth in the face of these pressures," Geithner said.
Many economists in Hawaii believe that Europe`s crippling economy will stimulate China’s growth, which holds over three trillion dollar in foreign exchange reserves.
Hillary also warned China that the US had no intention of ceding ground to the latter, which overtook Japan as the world`s second most powerful economy in 2010.