India, China to Play Key Role on Global Issues: US

By Arun Kumar

Washington, Oct 29 (IANS) The US believes that given their rise as global powers, India and China are going to play a fundamental role on issues like Iran, non-proliferation, terrorism and nuclear security.

Besides the broader Asia context that includes relations with China and India," the US also sees direct engagement with the 10 ASEAN countries on its own merit and not simply in the context of relationship with China, US deputy national security adviser for strategic communications Ben Rhodes said Thursday.

"...when you look at the rise of India and China as global powers and you also look at the emergence of regional powers like Indonesia that are in the G20, these countries are going to play a fundamental role" in all priority issues, "whether it's Iran, non-proliferation, terrorism, nuclear security," he said at a White House briefing on President Barack Obama's Asia trip.

Rhodes, who Wednesday described India as the cornerstone of US foreign policy in Asia, noted that Obama's four-nation Asia swing "obviously begins with a fairly robust economic component of our India visit".

The theme of US "efforts to expand our exports into India and deepen our engagement with India's economy, will proceed through the meetings and at the G20" summit in South Korea to put in context "our aggressive efforts to increase our economic engagement and our exports in Asia", he said.

The US commitment to combat climate change will continue no matter what the results of the Nov 2 mid-term election are, Rhodes said in response to a question.

The new framework for reducing emissions framework needs to include the US, "but it also needs to include emerging economies like China and India and Indonesia", he said.

Asked about Obama's plans to visit a mosque in Indonesia, Rhodes said Obama would underscore the themes that he has made in terms of outreach to Muslim communities around the world.

He would also speak about "Indonesia's rise as a democracy, Indonesia's rise as an emerging economy, and the pluralism that its story represents-similar to India's, in that respect."


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