Chennai: Ms. Clinton, who is the first American top diplomat to visit Chennai during an India trip said that India should play a “more assertive” role across Asia-Pacific, noting that this is a “time to lead” by seizing emerging opportunities.
Ms. Clinton began her address saying “Vanakkam,” a vernacular greeting, triggering a round of applause.
Ms. Clinton also praised Indian’s role in bringing peace in South Asia. She said that India could promote trade link between violence-wracked South Asian counties, which would bring prosperity and peace to India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“India’s leadership has the potential to positively shape the future of the Asia-Pacific… and we encourage you not just to look east, but continue to engage and act east as well,” she said in Chennai.
Clinton’s encouragement for India reflects US policy of promoting the country as a potential counter-balance to an increasingly assertive China in Asia.
“This is not a time when any of us can afford to look inward at the expense of looking outward,” she added. “This is a time to seize the emerging opportunities of the 21st century. This is a time to lead.”