As we Americans consider our future role in the world, the rise of a democratic and increasingly powerful India represents a singularly positive opportunity to advance our global interests. There is a tremendous strategic upside to our growing engagement with India. That is why building a close U.S.-India partnership should be one of the United States' highest priorities for the future. It is a unique opportunity with real promise for the global balance of power.
We share an abundance of political, economic, and military interests with India today. Our open societies face similar threats from terrorism and organized crime. Our market-based economies embrace trade and commerce as engines of prosperity. Our peoples value education and a strong work ethic. We share an attachment to democracy and individual rights founded on an instinctive mistrust of authoritarianism. And in an age of anti-Americanism, according to the most recent Pew Global Attitudes survey, nearly six in ten Indians view the United States favorably.
In the past decade, both President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush recognized this opportunity and acted to construct a completely new foundation for U.S. ties with India. Our relationship with India now is our fastest-developing friendship with any major country in the world. I have visited India eight times in the last two years to help construct this partnership. I have seen firsthand the remarkable growth in trust between the leaderships of the two countries. I have also observed the corresponding explosion in private-sector ties, the greatest strength in the relationship. The progress between the United States and India has been remarkable: a new and historic agreement on civil nuclear energy, closer collaboration on scientific and technological innovation, burgeoning trade and commercial links, common efforts to stabilize South Asia, and a growing U.S.-India campaign to promote stable, well-governed democracies around the world. And the United States is only just beginning to realize the benefits of this relationship for its interests in South and East
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