“A defining dimension of the U.S.-India partnership [is that we] are working together to support the emergence of an Asia-Pacific region defined by security, prosperity and human dignity for all its people,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns recently in India.
The Asia-Pacific region, stretching from India to the western coast of the Americas, is home to half the world’s population. The region has witnessed unprecedented levels of economic growth, leading to reductions in poverty without parallel in human history. “The Asia-Pacific is also home to military buildups, nuclear proliferation, piracy, trafficking, natural disasters, and serious environmental and ecological challenges,” Deputy Secretary Burns said. “But there is no more dynamic part of the world today, and no region more consequential in the decades ahead to American interests, to the shape of the global system, and ... to India’s own future.”
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton posed two questions when she visited India this past July: One, will this region adopt the basic rules to mobilize strategic and economic cooperation and manage disagreements? And two, will it build the regional architecture of institutions and arrangements to promote openness, trade, rule of law, human rights, and accountable governance?
“I believe that India and America – with so many converging interests, shared values and common concerns – are natural partners in building a more secure, stable, democratic and just global system,” Deputy Secretary Burns said. “India can make a decisive contribution to what Secretary Clinton has called ‘the global architecture of cooperation’ to solve problems that no one country can solve on its own. Americans look at India and see a pluralistic, multi-party democracy, a place of innovation and openness, a success story that offers hope to societies wracked by political turmoil and sectarian or ethnic divides.”
“We see a model [in India] for the very values we hope will become universal across the Asia-Pacific region,” Deputy Secretary Burns concluded. “India’s synthesis of high economic growth and multiparty democracy could not be more relevant in a region where debates rage about the value of democracy to development . . . We hope India will recognize the value of helping others match its achievement.”