Strong ties with India, China major Bush achievement: Rice

November 24th, 2008 - 11:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Nov 24 (IANS) US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice considers building up of a strong relationship with India, China and other Asian countries as one of the most significant achievements of President George W. Bush’s foreign policy.”Asia has been a very important area for us and an area in which I think we leave the relationships in a much, much stronger position than we found them,” Rice told reporters Aboard Air Force One as Bush returned home after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Lima, Peru.

Tremendous progress has been achieved in cross-Strait relations between Taiwan and China, besides strengthening of America’s ties with India, South Korea and Vietnam, she said according to the transcript released by the White House Monday.

“If you look at more traditional foreign policy issues like North Korea and the six-party talks, tremendous progress in cross-Strait relations between Taiwan and China - excellent relations, deepening relations with Japan, deepening relations with South Korea, with India - India is not here, but in that part of Asia as well; strong relations with Vietnam,” Rice said.

Citing the relationship with China, she said the US had developed better bilateral ties across the board despite differences over issues of human rights and economy with Beijing.

“If you look at Asia, the US has better relations with China than ever, across the board - and it’s not easy to manage a very complicated relationship with a country that is emerging in the way that China is,” Rice said.

“It’s not that we don’t have our differences, we do - on human rights; sometimes on economic matters, as well, issues of economic reform,” she said.

In reply to a question about the support of India and Brazil to Doha round of world trade talks, Daniel Price, assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs, noted while India and Brazil were not present at APEC, they were at the Group of Twenty (G20) leading economies meeting in Washington.

“And like the other leaders at the G20 meeting, they threw their strong support, one, to reject protectionism, and, two, to get a Doha modalities agreement done this year. That was determination expressed at the leaders’ level that included India and Brazil.”

“And although they were not here, they made their views clear at the G20 summit in Washington,” he added.

“These two summits coming in such close succession with the significant players all represented at one summit or the other - it shows a renewed, if not new found, commitment to completing a modalities agreement this year,” Price said.

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