Thursday, January 31, 2013

1-2-2013 ‘Look-East’ policy bring India into Asia Pacific: Hillary

Lauding India’s “Look East” policy, outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that America supports New Delhi’s move to weave it into the fabric of Asia Pacific region.

“We’ve encouraged India’s ‘Look East’ policy as a way to weave another big democracy into the fabric of the Asia-Pacific,” Ms. Clinton said on Thursday in her last foreign policy speech as the Secretary of State at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a Washington-based think-tank.

This was the only place in Ms. Clinton’s speech that mentioned India as she described America’s expanding engagement in the Asia Pacific region.

“Now, much attention has been focused on our military moves in the region. And certainly, adapting our forces posture is a key element of our comprehensive strategy. But so is strengthening our alliances through new economic and security arrangements,” she said.

“We responded to the triple disaster in Japan through our government, through our businesses, through our not-for-profits, and reminded the entire region of the irreplaceable role America plays.

First and foremost, this so-called pivot has been about creative diplomacy, like signing a little-noted treaty of amity and cooperation with ASEAN that opened the door to permanent representation and ultimately elevated a forum for engaging on high-stakes issues like the South China Sea,” she said.

Referring to the agenda of the next four years and beyond, she said the U.S. would have to keep pushing forward on this agenda: consolidate its engagement in the Asia-Pacific without taking eyes off the Middle East and North Africa.

She also called for keep working to curb the spread of deadly weapons, especially in Iran and North Korea; effectively manage the end of combat mission in Afghanistan without losing focus on al-Qaeda and its affiliates and pursuing a far-ranging economic agenda that sweeps from Asia to Latin America to Europe; and keep looking for the next Burmas.