http://articles.economictimes.india...0_1_china-important-partner-chinese-officials BEIJING: The US on Saturday described its deepening ties with India as "one of the defining partnerships" of the 21st century, but underlined that it was not at the 'expense' of China. "First of all, the United States considers (the ties with) India to be probably one of the defining partnerships for us in the 21st Century," Robert O. Blake, US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs, told the media here after his talks with Chinese officials. Blake said president Barack Obama's announcement extending US support for India's candidacy as a permanent member of UN Security Council "reflects our sense that India is first of all going to be a very important partner for the United States going forward, but also is a very constructive force in the world". "Things like non-proliferation, climate change, and we re very pleased that India is working closely with us in such areas as Afghanistan, helping to address poverty in Africa, and issues such as that," he replied when asked on the deepening Indo-US ties. Refuting perception that US is using India as a "hedge" against China, Blake said: "We support growing relations between India and China and we have reassured our friends in China that growing relations between the US and India will not come at China's expense, and that we want to see the growth of our relations with China, our relations with India, and India's relations with China." Blake said US is having "sub dialogues" with China on issues concerning South Asia. For the first time, he held a sub-dialogue on Central Asia with Chinese officials. The top US diplomat asked China to play more active role in stabilising Afghanistan and Pakistan, as "there are groups that are based in Pakistan that are threatening China as well as US and we talked about that today". "China agrees that the international community needs to do all it can to help both Pakistan and Afghanistan to deal with their many challenges. China has done a lot but we would welcome whatever else it can do to help because it does play such an important role in the region," Blake said. what was the purpose of Palin's visit?? Classic double talk.