US has vital stake in India’s rise to global power: Rice

June 11th, 2008 - 9:47 am ICT by IANS  

By Arun Kumar
Washington, June 11 (IANS) US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice considers India’s rise to global power and prosperity as “vital” as Washington seeks to get right its relationships with the existing and emerging global players. “The United States has a vital stake in India’s rise to global power and prosperity, and relations between the two countries have never been stronger or broader,” said Rice, considered the prime architect of US foreign policy under President George Bush, reflecting on the last eight years.

“It will take continued work, but this is a dramatic breakthrough for both our strategic interests and our values,” she said in an article in the July/August issue of Foreign Affairs magazine published by Council on Foreign Relations, a Washington think tank.

The “strategic shock” of Sep 11, 2001 terrorist attacks swept US into a fundamentally different world, she said making Washington “to lead with a new urgency and with a new perspective on what constituted threats and what might emerge as opportunities.

“What has changed is, most broadly, how we view the relationship between the dynamics within states and the distribution of power among them,” she said. But “what has not changed is that our relations with traditional and emerging great powers still matter to the successful conduct of policy.

“Thus, my admonition in 2000 that we should seek to get right the “relationships with the big powers” - Russia, China, and emerging powers such as India and Brazil - has consistently guided us,” said Rice, a key member of a group of experts engaged by Bush in the run up to the 2000 presidential elections to brush up his world view.

“As before, our alliances in the Americas, Europe and Asia remain the pillars of the international order, and we are now transforming them to meet the challenges of a new era,” she said.

But “the importance of strong relations with global players extends to those that are emerging. With those, particularly India and Brazil, the United States has built deeper and broader ties.

“India stands on the front lines of globalisation. This democratic nation promises to become a global power and an ally in shaping an international order rooted in freedom and the rule of law,” Rice said.

“Brazil’s success at using democracy and markets to address centuries of pernicious social inequality has global resonance,” she said noting, “Today, India and Brazil look outward as never before, secure in their ability to compete and succeed in the global economy.”

“In both countries, national interests are being redefined as Indians and Brazilians realise their direct stake in a democratic, secure, and open international order - and their commensurate responsibilities for strengthening it and defending it against the major transnational challenges of our era,” Rice said.

The US has a vital interest in the success and prosperity of these and other large multiethnic democracies with global reach, such as Indonesia and South Africa, she said. “And as these emerging powers change the geopolitical landscape, it will be important that international institutions also change to reflect this reality.”

“This is why President Bush has made clear his support for a reasonable expansion of the UN Security Council,” she said without hinting whether Washington backed India’s claim for a permanent seat on the world body.

Deepening democratisation across the Asia-Pacific region was also expanding the circle of US allies and advancing shares goals, she said.

“Indeed, although many assume that the rise of China will determine the future of Asia, so, too - and perhaps to an even greater degree - will the broader rise of an increasingly democratic community of Asian states,” Rice said.

“This is the defining geopolitical event of the twenty-first century, and the United States is right in the middle of it,” she said noting Washington enjoyed “a strong, democratic alliance with Australia, with key states in Southeast Asia, and with Japan.

“Finally, the United States has a vital stake in India’s rise to global power and prosperity, and relations between the two countries have never been stronger or broader,” Rice said. “It will take continued work, but this is a dramatic breakthrough for both our strategic interests and our values.”

The US has long tried to marry power and principle - realism and idealism, the top US diplomat said citing Washington’s “relationships with Russia and China (that) are complex and characterised simultaneously by competition and cooperation.”

Pakistan too was an example of how the US has balanced its concerns “for reform and support (for) indigenous agents of change in non-democratic countries, even as we cooperate with their governments on security.”

“This uniquely American realism has guided us over the past eight years, and it must guide us over the years to come,” she said.

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