US-India committed to vision for Asia: Richard Verma

Hawaii: U.S. Ambassador to India, Richard Verma, has said that New Delhi and Washington are clearly committed to a set of common principles and a vision for Asia.

“I know the elephant in the room is whether these transformations in our relationship with India are somehow directed at China. The United States and India are clearly committed to a set of common principles and a vision for Asia, as our Presidents stated in New Delhi in January, and we will continue to work together towards that goal,” said Verma.

“However, the potential of this relationship is so much larger than developments in India’s eastern neighborhood. I would also note that it would be a poor strategic calculation on our part to attempt to view India as an eager rival to China,” he added.

The US envoy said the remarkable history between those two countries shows there is no inevitability in India-China competition, and we are glad of that fact.

“Rather, India and China have a long history of cultural cross-pollination and peaceful coexistence, from the contemporary and non-competitive flowering of the Gupta and Tang dynasties to the centuries of visits by Chinese pilgrims to the university at Nalanda. Indeed, I can think of no other examples of neighboring global powers that have coexisted for millennia with so few instances of conflict,” said Verma in his remarks on “An Alliance for Global Prosperity” at EWC, Hawaii.

“So no, I can definitively say that this relationship is not about any third country, but rather arises out of a conviction that we have more to offer the world together than we do on our own,” he added.

Verma emphasized the India-US relationship is poised to become a 21st century alliance, based in Asia, working towards the goal of global prosperity.

“This partnership will protect the commons, empower the youth of our countries and the world, help maintain global peace, and further prosperity and development. Never before in history have two such diverse and culturally distinct powers been united by a shared vision for the global good. Our multicultural citizenries that cherish similar traditions of tolerance, participatory governance and rules-based international systems are uniquely capable of advancing an inclusive and consultative approach to the global challenges of this century. Those challenges will come from unexpected directions and take forms that we may have never anticipated,” said Verma.

“But I am confident that our alliance, based on the principle that we will unleash the vast potential of our people for the benefit of humankind will serve as a nimble and stabilizing force in the region and the world,” he added.

Verma said that he is deeply gratified to know that the fulfillment of India’s tryst with destiny that Pandit Nehru described in 1947 will involve the close partnership of the United States as India reclaims its rightful place among the stewards of human progress in this century.

He further said the US and India are blessed with young populations eagerly immersing themselves in the search for innovative solutions for global challenges of this century.

“They are aided in that pursuit by national systems that grant them the freedom of thought and speech that allow unfettered debate and collaboration across national borders, gender and social status. It will be essential for our countries to nurture this entrepreneurial approach to problem solving and the exchange of ideas between our young people if we are to generate solutions to the problems that will confront us in the future,” said Verma.

“We are delighted that the number of Indian students applying to study in the United States this year has increased by nearly forty percent over the past year to 130,000. We also hope to increase the number of American students studying in India and to forge links between our institutions of higher learning that will generate the new approaches that will fuel our partnership,” he added.

Verma emphasized that, in keeping with the innovative nature of the U.S.-India partnership, we are looking beyond traditional relationships between universities to also incorporate the community colleges and vocational and technical institutes that will power our economies in the decades to come.

“As democracies we know that our strength comes from our people and we are determined to empower the next generation of American and Indian thought leaders together,” he added. (ANI)