Bob Child, Associated Press
Tony Blair at Yale graduation.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair told Yale University graduates on Sunday that partnerships were key to avoid conflict in a global economy as countries such as China and India become more powerful.

Blair, the Class Day speaker, said that for the first time in many centuries, power is moving East. He said the two Asian countries will industrialize at a rate five times faster than the U.S. will in the next two decades.

"Most of all, we should know that in this new world, we must clear a path to partnership, not stand off against each other competing for power," Blair said.

Blair also said the graduates will grapple with global issues, such as the threat of climate change, food scarcity, population growth and terrorism based on religion.