Beijing: A Chinese state media said on Wednesday that India should not focus on containing or bashing China rather cooperate and build mutual trust.
It suggested that New Delhi should look for a balanced international relations because picking “one side or camp against the other is not the way India will rise”.
The op-ed noted the US was “always hoping that India could serve as its right hand to counterbalance China’s rise”, but its calculations have so far not worked.
Following the meeting between Modi and Obama on Tuesday, the US recognised India as a “Major Defence Partner”. The two sides announced they will begin work on building six nuclear reactors in India and Obama supported the New Delhi’s candidature for the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
Not only this, China has opposed India’s entry into the 48-member atomic trading club and yoked India’s membership to that of Pakistan. In recent weeks, China has also blocked moves by India to sanction Pakistan-based terrorists such as Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar at the UN Security Council.
The op-ed noted that Modi had ramped up the India-US relationship to an unprecedented level with four visits to the US and seven meetings with Obama in two years since he took office in 2014. The transformation of the geopolitical landscape is the “major driver” drawing the two countries closer and Washington’s “rebalance to the Asia-Pacific makes the US realise India’s strategic significance, economic potential and ideological commonality”, it said.
“Although rivalling China in many aspects, India knows its great vision cannot be realised by bashing or containing China. Instead, they should expand cooperation, explore the potentials and build mutual trust for their own good,” the article said.
“China is more of a help than a competitor for India. This will eventually constitute India’s fundamental understanding of China.”
As recently as 2014, a joint statement issued after a Modi-Obama meeting had expressed concern at tension in the South China Sea and talked about maritime security in the region.
“Indian PM Narendra Modi comes to the US expecting to close a deal for deeper defence cooperation begun by his defence chief in April. That’s when US defence secretary Ashton Carter and Indian defence minister Manohar Parrikar announced a deal in principle which would facilitate greater interoperability between the Indian and American navies. It’s a measure Beijing is watching closely,” state broadcaster CCTV said in a report.