Washington: As world’s largest democracy and given its strategic location in the Indo-Pacific geography, India has an important role to play in the Asia Pacific region, a top American diplomat has said.
“India as the world’s largest democracy; and given its strategic place in Indo-Pacific geography, has an important role to play, an important contribution to make,” Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing.
Russel said the Asia Pacific rebalance strategy of the Obama Administration is not to contain China.
“Our goal is not to disadvantage China’s legitimate interests. Our policies are not aimed at any one country and we don’t use our relationships, including our relationship with India, as a lever or a bludgeon against China,” he said yesterday.
“However, the issues at stake are global issues. As democracies and as seafaring nations, India and the United States share a common interest in respect for international law, in protection of freedom of navigation and overflight, and in the vigorous defence of unimpeded lawful commerce,” he said.