BEIJING: India should not focus on containing or bashing China but cooperate and build mutual trust, the Chinese state media said on Wednesday, in reaction to the upswing in India-US ties as PM Narendra Modi tours the US.
The op-ed piece in the nationalistic tabloid Global Times suggested New Delhi should look to multilateralism and “balanced international relations” because picking “one side or camp ... is not the way India will rise”. The piece is one of several articles in the state media that is closely tracking Modi’s visit to the US. The op-ed noted the US was “alway shoping that India could serve as its right hand to counter balance China’s rise”, but its calculations have so far not worked.
Policy stands of the Chinese media are often seen by western academics as a proxy for its government’s views. 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 backed New Delhi’s candidature for NSG.
But 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 a nun precedented level with four visits to the US and seven meetings with Obama since he took office in 2014. The transformation of the geo political land scape 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 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.” The article further said India has always employed “independent and pragmatic approaches” while fulfilling its ambition to be a major power. “A balance between other major powers will be its primary and optimal choice,” it suggested.