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'India not looking at isolating China in Asia Pacific region'

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India not looking at isolating China in Asia Pacific region
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Washington: Observing that India has always regarded the United States as a Pacific power, New Delhi's top diplomat based in Washington has said the Indian Government is not looking at isolating China in this whole narrative of building better relations with the Asia Pacific region.

"We are not looking at isolating China in this whole narrative of building better relations with the Asia-Pacific. We see the need to engage China. We see the need to develop more and more habits of cooperation with China," the Indian Ambassador to the US Nirupama Rao said responding to a question at a form yesterday on 'All Eyes on Asia: Perspectives from our Allies' organised by Foreign Policy Initiative, a Washington-based think tank.

"But when it comes to a security architecture for the Asia- Pacific, we also believe that it must be open and inclusive and rule-based, of course, and that we should strengthen dialogue rather than, you know, see confrontation escalating for whatever reason," Rao asserted at the discussion forum which was moderated by Congressman Randy Forbes.

Kim Beazley, the Australian Ambassador to the US; and Maria Austria, Minister and Consul, Political Section, Embassy of the Philippines, were the other two diplomats at the form discussion.

The centre of gravity, she said, is now shifting to the Asia Pacific region. "India has always been a part of that region. We have always had a history of engagement with the countries of the Asia-Pacific," she said.

Responding to a question on India-US relationship, Rao said it has now evolved into a multi-dimensional one. "The relationship between India and the United States has come to be defined as a strategic partnership today. In fact President Obama referred to it, I think quite appropriately, as an indispensable partnership," she said.

PTI

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