McCain presidency to build ‘enduring partnership’ with India

September 1st, 2008 - 3:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Sep 1 (IANS) A Republican US administration under John McCain would seek to build an “enduring partnership” with India based on common security concerns and shared commitment to democracy as it would strengthen ties across the Asia-Pacific region.The draft party platform or manifesto on the basis of which McCain will seek votes in the race for the White House also hails the new US relationship with India, including their civil nuclear deal, suggesting a continuation of President George Bush’s India policies.

“We welcome America’s new relationship with India, including the US-India Civil Nuclear Accord,” says the draft platform to be presented to the party’s Sep 1-4 national convention at St Paul, Minnesota, that would formally nominate McCain and his vice presidential running mate Sarah Palin.

“Our common security concerns and shared commitment to political freedom and representative government can be the foundation for an enduring partnership,” adds the draft outlining the party’s plans to build partnerships across the Asia-Pacific Region.

“The US is a Pacific nation, and our historic ties to Asia will grow stronger in the years ahead,” says the draft.

It also welcomes “the emergence of a peaceful and prosperous China”, while seeking “the development of a democratic China”. It also wants Beijing to adopt a flexible monetary exchange rate and allow free movement of capital for its full integration into the global economy.

On global warming and environmental protection, the platform says “all developed and developing economies, particularly India and China, can make significant contributions in dealing with” climate change since as a global issue it “must become a truly global concern as well”.

“It would be unrealistic and counterproductive to expect the US to carry burdens which are more appropriately to be shared by all,” says the draft platform.

But it also admits that by increasing “American energy supply and decreasing the long-term demand for oil,” the US will be well positioned to address the challenge of global warming and continue its “longstanding responsibility for stewardship over the environment”.

While China’s “rulers have already discovered that economic freedom leads to national wealth; the next lesson is that political and religious freedom leads to national greatness”, says the Republican platform accusing Beijing of suppressing basic human rights in Tibet and elsewhere, and eroding democracy in Hong Kong.

Acknowledging that bilateral trade with China has created export opportunities for American farmers and workers, the platform says the US must yet ensure that China fulfils its World Trade Organisation (WTO) obligations, especially those related to intellectual property rights, elimination of subsidies, and repeal of import restrictions.

On Pakistan, the platform seeks to expand its ties with Islamabad while acknowledging its “difficult but essential role” in the fight against terror and supporting its movement towards democratic rule.

Washington “must expand its ties with the government and the people of Pakistan”, it says. “We support their efforts to improve democratic governance and strengthen civil society, and we appreciate the difficult but essential role Pakistan plays in the fight against terror.”

On Afghanistan, the platform says “in the seven years since US troops helped topple the Taliban, there has been great progress - but much remains to be done. We must prevail in Afghanistan to prevent the re-emergence of the Taliban or an Al Qaeda sanctuary in that country.”

Suggesting a “nationwide counter-insurgency strategy led by a unified commander is an essential prerequisite to success”, the platform seeks additional forces both from NATO countries and through a doubling in size of the Afghan army.

“We flatly reject the Democratic Party’s idea that America can succeed in Afghanistan only by failure in Iraq,” the Republican draft platform adds.

On Iran, the platform warns Tehran “in the plainest words we can use, that the US government, in solidarity with the international community, will not allow the current regime in Tehran to develop Nuclear weapons.”

Calling for a significant increase in political, economic, and diplomatic pressure to persuade Iran’s rulers to halt their drive for a nuclear weapons capability, the party supported tighter sanctions against Iran and the companies investing in its energy sector.

“At the same time, the US must retain all options in dealing with a situation that gravely threatens our security, our interests, and the safety of our friends,” the Republican platform says.

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