| Associated Press
In less than two months for the second time, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said that the country is facing challenges from rising powers in Asia – China in particular and also includes India in 21st Century.
Panetta told PBS News Hour in an interview,
“We have got the challenges of dealing with rising powers in Asia. We have got the challenges of, you know, dealing with countries like Russia, rising countries that -like India and others.”
“All of that represents the kind of challenges that we are going to have to deal with in this world of 21st century.”
Panetta’s remarks came within hours of the Pentagon releasing its defense strategic review which said that the US is investing in long-term strategic partnership with India.
The strategy document unveiled by the US President Barack Obama identified China as one of the major security threat to the US in the long term and puts Asia on a bigger priority.
“The United States is investing in a long-term strategic partnership with India to support its ability to serve as a regional economic anchor and provider of security in the broader Indian Ocean region”said the strategy document.
This is the second time in two months, US Defense secretary mentions India as a rising power.
But , Panetta’s spokesman George Little had said
“The Secretary strongly values a close military relationship with India, which he sees as a nation of increasing prominence and power. He doesn’t view India as a threat.”
Earlier in the day, the State Department spokesperson, Victoria Nuland, told reporters that the US President Barack Obama, and the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton “desire for a strong, growing, robust partnership with India”.