India key to US success in 21st century: former diplomat

India key to US success in 21st century: former diplomat

India is a linchpin in America's success in the 21st century and could be a key contributor toward steadying the potentially destabilising global flashpoints, a former top American diplomat to the country has said.

Tim Roemer, the former US Ambassador to India, said that is the reason India needs to be the centre of the Obama Administration's pivot to Asia.

"India's success is not simply necessary for the region; it's a linchpin in America's success in the 21st century," Roemer wrote on the website of the prestigious Foreign Policy magazine.

His comments came amidst increasing confrontation between the US and China on the latter's unilateral move to create an air defence identification zone in the East China Sea.

"World attention today is keenly focused on nuclear proliferation in Iran, the future force presence in Afghanistan, and percolating problems between China and Japan involving islands in the East China Sea," Roemer said.

"And while officials in Washington deliberate how US influence can affect these potentially destabilising flashpoints, they're overlooking a country that could be a key contributor toward steadying the ship: India," he wrote.

"While India is not part of the problem on these issues, it potentially can offer solutions on global nonproliferation, stability in Afghanistan, and adding a balanced voice in the region to China's territorial aspirations," he said.

"Indeed, US vital national security interests around the world are increasingly linked to India's success. Investing time, resources, and capital in India's future will help the American economy, add to global peace, and pay dividends for decades to come," wrote the former Ambassador.

Roemer said the United States and India have quietly and diplomatically worked together and discussed areas of mutual interest with regard to Tehran's programme.

Similarly the two countries have worked together in Afghanistan, much to the discomfort of Pakistan.

"Influenced by China's aggressive foreign policy, member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are increasingly looking to India in multilateral forums for economic and regional leadership. In this regard, New Delhi could be more vocal in forming consensus on issues such as the contested Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, which are currently administered by Japan but claimed by China and Taiwan," Roemer said.

"If America is to truly be a Pacific power -- as a new, emerging Asian middle class in China, India, and the ASEAN countries provides new opportunities in diplomacy and business -- Washington must boldly utilise the traditional levers of power as peacemaker, balancer, and coalition builder," he said.

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