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West should avoid conflict with India

India and China tilting the balance to the East, it is necessary for the West to seek partnership with them instead of struggling "for hegemony" in the "new world", Tony Blair has said.

world Updated: May 26, 2008 14:42 IST

With India and China becoming more powerful and tilting the balance to the East, it is necessary for the West to seek partnership with them instead of struggling "for hegemony" in the "new world", former British Premier Tony Blair has said.

"In the next two decades China and India will undergo industrialisation four times the size of the United States and at five times the speed," Blair, now a special envoy to the Middle East, told the Yale alumni.

He asked them to turn their eyes to emerging global powers like China and India, noting that "for the first time in many centuries, power is moving East."

"Most of all we should know that in this new world, we must clear a path of partnership, not stand off, against each other, competing for power," said Blair, stressing that issues like climate change, food scarcity and global terrorism call for "spirit of global community."

In this context, he advised the graduating class to embrace internationalisation and cross-cultural dialogue, cautioning them that "the world in which you, in time to come, will take the reins, cannot afford a return to the 20th century struggles for hegemony."

"The conclusion," Blair said, "is that we make it work together, or not at all." Blair, who stepped down as premier last year, made the remarks while bidding the Yale Class 2008 adieu yesterday which also witnessed a silent protest from a group of graduating seniors opposed to war in Iraq.

Some stood with back to Blair, who as prime minister had supported the Iraq war, while other held out placards that read "No War," "Peace Now."