'India, China should use their growth to stabilise Asia'

"By most measures, the Asia-Pacific region is the most important and most dynamic region in the world today -- and likely to be more so as this still-young century unfolds," Michèle Flournoy, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, said during a discussion at the Johns Hopkins University's 'Rethinking Seminar'.

"Asia sits at the crossroads of the world's emerging threats of cyber security, climate change and terrorism," she said, adding that this growing importance of Asia means the US must continue to build and strengthen its alliances there and encourage China and India to use their growth to secure and stabilize the region.

Flournoy said the US and China "are not inevitably destined for conflict, as some have posited. Even as we manage our differences, we can deepen our cooperation across the full range of our shared interests."

She said though the US still ranks as the world's largest economy as measured by gross domestic product, the next three largest are China, Japan and India.

In 2010, ten of the world's 15 fastest-growing economies were in Asia, she added.

The Pentagon official said China's economy is growing rapidly within Asia, causing the International Monetary Fund to estimate that Asia's economy will eclipse that of the United States by 2030.

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