United States needs to successfully manage its relationship with emerging powers like India and China, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said and insisted that the Obama administration's shift of military, diplomatic and commercial assets to Asia is not to "contain" Beijing.
"We need to successfully manage our relationships with emerging powers like China and India," Clinton said in her address to the Foreign Policy Group's 'Transformational Trends 2013' Forum.
"China's peaceful rise as a global power is reaching a crossroads. Its future course will be determined by how it manages new economic challenges, differences with its neighbours, and strains in its political and economic system," said the secretary of state in her speech on foreign policy.
Beijing has repeatedly expressed concerns about Washington's so-called Asia Pivot.
Clinton told a Washington foreign policy forum on Thursday that the pivot is not a threat to China.
"None of this is about containment. It's all aimed at advancing a rules-based order in the Asia-Pacific (region) that will drive peace and prosperity for decades to come," she said.
Clinton said navigating the US-China relationship is uniquely important but also uniquely challenging.
"Because, as I have said on many occasions, and as I have heard Chinese leaders quote my words back to me, we are trying to write a new answer to the old question of what happens when an established power and a rising power meet," she said.
She said the US is moving economics to the centre of its foreign policy.
"In response to the trends I mentioned earlier and that you have been discussing, countries that are gaining influence more because of economic prowess than military power, and market forces shaping the strategic landscapes, are clearly driving change. We can either watch it or shape it."
According to the secretary of state, economics are increasingly shaping international affairs alongside more traditional forms of national power.
"Emerging powers like India and Brazil are gaining clout because of their size, of course, but more the size of their economies than of their militaries, more about the potential of their markets than their projection of what we used to think of as power," she said.
Clinton said the US have to engage with a set of emerging democratic powers like Brazil and Mexico, India and Indonesia, South Africa and Turkey, that are exercising greater influence in their regions and on the world stage.
"The strategic fundamentals of these relationships -- shared democratic values, common economic and security priorities -- are pushing our interests into closer convergence. This is reflected in the broad strategic dialogues we have launched with these emerging powers.
"The key going forward will be to encourage them to leave behind the outdated politics of the past and take up the responsibilities that come with global influence, including defending our shared democratic values beyond their borders," she said.
Referring to the China's boundary dispute with its neighbours in particular that of the South China Sea, Clinton said the US supports the efforts by the ASEAN nations to work toward a code of conduct with China over the South China Sea.
"We are not involved in it. We're not doing it. It is something that they are doing for themselves. But it is important because you can't, in the 21st century, permit anyone's claims to territory that creates instability, tensions, and potentially conflict to be unanswered if you're going to try to maintain peace and security," she said.
"So we've explained this to the Chinese. Their response is: What we claim is ours. And our response is that's why we have processes and mechanisms, and what you're claiming is also being claimed by others.
"We have not just the South China Sea but the East China Sea, with the dispute between China and Japan, because for the United States being a global power, we could see the same thing happening in the Arctic, in the Mediterranean. I mean, it is not just about the South China Sea," Clinton said.