All Eyes on Asia: Perspectives from our Allies and Partners

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A Conversation with Australian Ambassador Kim Beazley, Indian Ambassador Nirupama Rao, and Philippine Deputy Chief of Mission Maria Austria - Embassy of Australia, Embassy of India, Embassy of the Philippines

Moderated by Congressman J. Randy Forbes (R-VA) - Member of the House Armed Services Committee

 Audio | Photographs  | Quotes  Transcript  |  Video

Video

Quotes

  • On the Impact of Looming Sequestration Cuts to U.S. Defense:  “Of course, the threat of sequestration is giving us nightmares, but the commitment of the U.S. in remaining focused on the region is a comfort to us.” —Philippine Deputy Chief of Mission Maria Austria
  • On the U.S. “Rebalance” to the Asia-Pacific:  "The focal point of the global economy will be Southeast Asia.  And I predict one thing:  you're going to see a decline in U.S. interest in the Middle East in the next ten-to-fifteen years... You are going to be energy-independent, in ten years.  As that flows through, you're going to find yourself less and less engaged with the Middle East and more and more engaged with Asia." —Australian Ambassador Kim Beazley
  • On the U.S. “Rebalance” to the Asia-Pacific:  “We would like to see the U.S. engaged in institutionalizing the partnerships in the Asia-Pacific....  The strengthening of engagement with other partners in the region should not be taken as containing any certain power. It’s not an effort to box out or contain any other power.” —Philippine Deputy Chief of Mission Maria Austria
  • On the Future of U.S.-Indian Partnership:  “Obama referred to the relationship between the U.S. and India as indispensible… The relationship has substantially improved in the last decade.  Today it’s a multi-dimensional partnership....  The United States will always be a very important and key partner for India.” —Indian Ambassador Nirupama Rao
  • On Indo-Chinese Relations:  “China is a neighbor of India’s—we are immediately contiguous with each other.  We have unresolved questions with China—for instance the border question, as you know, has not yet been settled....  As our late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi said, 'You cannot march to Peking.' You have to sit down and discuss these issues and find a mutually respectable way to resolve this. But it's important to understand we have maintained peace and tranquility on the Chinese-Indian borders for more than four decades now.—Indian Ambassador Nirupama Rao
  • On Indo-Chinese Relations:  “We are not looking at isolating China in this whole narrative.  We see the need to engage China, we see the need to develop more and more habits of cooperation with China....  We should strengthen dialogue, rather than see confrontation escalating....  With China, we have built a relationship in which we’ve been able to manage our differences in a very rational and grown-up way.” —Indian Ambassador Nirupama Rao
  • On How America’s Asia Rebalance Relates to China:  “You are absolutely right not to simply focus on China.  The most interesting thing that we are now witnessing globally is the simultaneous rise of a dozen major powers in a set of circumstances where issues between them are not resolved.  Normally speaking, an absolute boiler plate—required for a rise economically—was that all the issues in a particular area have been settled.  In the Southeast Asian area in particular, there are almost no settled values.  As these powers rise, they switch from a domestic focus to an external focus... but there is no arbiter.  There is no guarantor.  There is no decider when it comes to how all these issues are going to be resolved.  And that’s where the U.S. comes in—that’s an American opportunity.” —Australian Ambassador Kim Beazley

Photographs

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