On the emergence of China as a global power, Steinberg said India and US should try and draw up a blueprint to engage China rather than to try and contain it. Some Americans feel that the democratic structure and open economic policies of India has made India"s rise more acceptable compared to that of China, said Steinberg.
On the political change in the US, Steinberg said, “It is important to have a sustained dialogue to build trust and confidence as part of stronger Indo-US relation. We are on the verge of decision time in the US. It is a very significant election as foreign policy and national security issues will play a major role in selection of a presidential candidate".
He however pointed out that the Mid-East will feature more prominently in the US election rather than Asia.
The future relationship of the US with India will depend on the inclusion of India in major policy decisions for the region as well as global issues, said Steinberg. The US is not going to play a major role on the Kashmir issue and there has been a paradigm shift in the thought process of both Democrats and Republicans regarding the US relationship with Pakistan, he said.
On outsourcing, he said that effort will be more towards social safety and not outsourcing.
Mentioning terrorism as a global threat, he said that terrorism is a real threat for India because of its location. India will lose much more in the conflict for being a multi-cultural state. Focusing on terrorism has narrowed the global policy of the US, especially on Asia, said Steinberg.
On trade issues, Steinberg highlighted the growing importance of India in WTO negotiations and stated that as a growing economic power India has much more to offer to the stability of the global order.
Commenting on the global policies of the US, Steinberg said, “the failure of extending economic benefits of globalisation has resulted in the regional and ethnic conflicts, globally", said Johnson.
“In pursuit to solve the issue of Iraq, we have created more problems and therefore with Iran and other countries we have to work out on the choices and tools that think about long term strategy", he said.
Tarun Das, President, The Aspen Institute India, moderated the session and commented on the development of Indo-US relation over the last decade. Speaking about the session, he said that this is part of the series of dialogues that The Aspen Institute India has taken up since 2002.