New Delhi: The breadth of Indo-US relations extends to all areas of human endeavour, to bilateral and regional issues and the big picture is often not appreciated because “we get caught in transactional issues, such as outsourcing”, Mr.Shiv Shankar Menon, National Security Adviser said here today. His remarks were seconded by Mr. Strobe Talbott who said “US companies that have done strategic outsourcing are actually doing well, creating jobs and helping the US economy”.
In his keynote address at the Dialogue on ‘US-India Strategic Partnership’ organised by FICCI and Brookings Institution, Mr. Menon said that “Indo-US relations have changed
in a fundamental way in the last decade. We have more than just a transactional relationship with the US. The two nations have an open, democratic and inclusive
architecture, we have learnt overtime that mercantilism and protectionism do not serve us well and it is time to be ambitious about the relationship”.
He said the two democratic nations respect the rule of law, open trading arrangements,and rule-based multilateral trade. India and the US, he said, were capable of institutional innovation and “we need to be pragmatic to work this relationship where it
works and go beyond what’s in it for me and move to a more holistic and strategic level of engagement”.
Asked where China stood in the India-US relationship, Mr. Menon said China was India’s biggest neighbour and a major trading partner. There were sensitivities on both sides and just as all major powers were talking to each other, there is need to engage with
China. “I therefore do not see our relations with the US affecting our relations with China”.
Mr. Strove Talbott expressed optimism on taking the US-India ties to the next level as there is minimal temptation amongst the two sides to re-argue all the issues in the
strategic partnership. “Both nations can and must work together to mitigate the effects of climate change which poses an existential threat to the future of mankind. They must
engage with the European countries and China to combat the fall-out of climate change”, he added.
On counter-terrorism, Mr. Talbott said the Mumbai massacres were a wake-up call for the two governments. “We are now building on and upgrading our efforts on counterterrorism,” he said.
For peace and security in the region, he expressed the hope that the triangular relationship amongst US, India and China will be in the larger interest of peace in the region and “for this to happen there is need to deal and discuss issues candidly with Beijing and amongst ourselves”.