US modernising alliances in Asia Pacific region: Obama

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Washington, Jan 21: America is modernising its alliances in the Asia Pacific while making sure that other nations play by the rule, US President Barack Obama said today, amid China's maritime disputes with countries in the region.

"In the Asia Pacific, we are modernising alliances while making sure that other nations play by the rules –- in how they trade, how they resolve maritime disputes, and how they participate in meeting common international challenges like non-proliferation and disaster relief," Obama said in his State of the Union Address.

Obama

Obama's comments came days ahead of his visit to India, which the US considers a central element of its 'Asia Pacific Pivot'. In his speech, Obama did not directly mention China, but in the past the US has asked Beijing to play by the rules in particular in the dispute related to the South China Sea.

Obama also drew attention towards global warming and said no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.

"2014 was the planet's warmest year on record. Now, one year doesn't make a trend, but this does – 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all fallen in the first 15 years of this century," he said.

"The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we'll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe. The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it," said the US President.

Obama said he is determined to make sure American leadership drives international action.

"In Beijing, we made an historic announcement –- the United States will double the pace at which we cut carbon pollution, and China committed, for the first time, to limiting their emissions. And because the world's two largest economies came together, other nations are now stepping up, and offering hope that, this year, the world will finally reach an agreement to protect the one planet we've got," he said.

PTI

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