'Indo-US dialogue will be on display during Obama's visit'

"It is important also to stress the enhanced strategic dialogue that we now have with India, which has taken place on two rounds and which will be very much on display when the President visits India in a few months time as well as our enhanced strategic dialogue with Indonesia. We had a meeting just last week with the secretary here in Washington and her counterparts, to show the breadth of that relationship and the increasing importance that we attach to that comprehensive partnership, as we call it," US Deputy Secretary of State, James Steinberg said yesterday.

The Deputy Secretary said this in his speech on 'Impact of US-China Relations in Asia'.
The US recognises the new emerging nations would be an important part of the international stage, he said.

"They represent a significant enhancement of the capacity of the international community to meet the kinds of challenges that we're talking about. We don't see their rise as a zero- sum game that necessarily diminishes US interests or inevitably leads to a rivalry or competition, but we recognise that there are risks in that direction," he said.

Therefore, the US has to work hard not just with China and India and Russia, but also some of the other critical emerging powers like Indonesia, he said.

"And that's why we focused very much during this administration on strengthening dialogue between these partners, because we recognise that in order to get the positive-sum benefits and enhance the prospect of a good result over time, we need to deepen dialogue," he argued.

The more America embeds its relationships in these, the more confidence it gives to others that its enhanced relationship with key powers like India and China or Russia will not come at the expense of smaller powers, Steinberg said.

"But equally important, it makes clear that as we strengthen our ties, they are done in a way that has the perspective of the others, which you're going to be exploring today. That's very important, because we need to make sure that in order to move forward, that these are not seen as competitions between powers for the friendship or support of other countries in the region but rather things that we do together," Steinberg said.

There was a tremendous opportunity to build the US-China relationship, but America will be mindful of the important consequences of that relationship for all of the neighbours in Northeast and Southeast Asia, he said.

"The more we work together, the more we build bilateral ties in the context of this regional and global cooperation, the more we really will have success for all the countries in the region, which I think is quite achievable," the official said.

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