He added it was important to bring an "assertive China" to the drawing table to avoid a potential conflict.
"China has been asking questions to other Asian countries: 'How far can I push you'. China is already having frequent clashes with other nations over maritime claims. We risk a conflict in the South China Sea unless we get an assertive China on the drawing board," Bower told an interactive session here.
Asserting that the US was not against China, Bower said India has a key role in bringing China on the discussion table.
"The only way we can succeed is if we have a strong, secure and peaceful China that wants to sit on the table and makes rules discussing with stakeholders and plays by those rules and India has an important role in that. We cannot allow China to play by its own rules for we risk a conflict then," said Bower.
The Sumitro Chair for Southeast Asia Studies, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Washington D.C., also found flaws in India's 'Look East Policy'.
"Inexplicably, India's 'Look East Policy' looks beyond its own east and north east. I have met people in these regions who feel New Delhi neglects them. So I feel there is need for India to rectify the flaws," said Bower.
He also pointed out India's limitation in developing Asia-Pacific cooperation with the US due its problems with her neighbours.
"India has its own share of problems regarding its north east as well as her neighbours. So it is important for the US to determine how much it wants from India in developing US cooperation with the Asia-Pacific, although India's importance can in no way be undermined.
"US would never want to be in a position where it has to choose between India and China, so it is important for the stakeholders to come together and chalk out a plan to develop cooperation in Asia-Pacific," added Bower.
--IANS (Posted on 21-08-2013)