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In the next decade, the dramatic impact that China and India already have on the United States will only increase, according to Anja Manuel. And if we can’t figure out how to make the relationships we have with each of these countries work, the country could be in for major problems.

Manuel was an official at the U.S. Department of State from 2005 to 2007 under Condoleezza Rice. She’s since co-founded a strategic consulting firm with Rice and others called RiceHadleyGates. She is the author of “This Brave New World: India, China, and the United States.”

As China and India achieve and further grow into their roles as global super powers, they’ll present new economic opportunities for the United States, and also new challenges.

“They’re going to be the fastest growing market for our companies with three billion people between them and the world’s biggest middle classes. They’re going to compete with us for energy and resources, and there is no way at all to solve climate change, for example, without their cooperation. So you can see how important it is to get it right, right now,” she said.

To hear more about Manuel's thoughts on the U.S.'s relationship with these two increasingly powerful countries, click on the audio player above.

For an excerpt from the book, click here

Follow Kai Ryssdal at @kairyssdal