China is a keeping a close watch on the developing Indo-US alliance but believes that New Delhi will keep a geostrategic distance from becoming Washington’s vassal state.
Analysing US Vice President, Joe Biden’s recent India visit, a researcher from a top Chinese think-tank, China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), wrote in the state-run Global Times newspaper, that the two democracies might have a common interest in “containing China” but India’s “strategy of being independent” will keep it “non-aligned”.
“According to US geostrategic desires, in order to push India to integrate into its system to contain China, the US not only encourages India to move east but also brings up the concept of an "Indo-Pacific" to justify India's intervention in Asia-Pacific affairs,” the opinion piece said.
There were, however, several reasons which should hold back India from tying the knot too tightly with the US, researcher Fu Xiaoqiang, argued.
It could bother China, for one, and imbalance India’s effort to counter its neighbour through peaceful competition.
“On one hand, New Delhi worries this may stimulate China to develop weaponry and draw India into an open confrontation with China. This is obviously far from India's interests, since India prefers balancing China naturally by ensuring peaceful and fruitful competition. India has no intention of becoming a regional test balloon by going against China,” Fu wrote.
“New Delhi also worries that small countries, incited by the US, may confront China openly, worsening regional conflicts as well as damaging regional stability,” he said.
Also, Fu wrote, India doesn’t want to become a “strategic vassal of the US” and block its own ambition to become a “great power in the world”.
Moreover, India is afraid of being reduced to a strategic vassal of the US, which will block its path to becoming a great power in the world.
The ambitious goal of US-India reaching trade worth $500 billion by 2020 is a too ambitious, Fu wrote, adding that the goal was being used by the US to make New Delhi a strategic ally.
“However, the goal of reaching $500 billion in 2020 seems too ambitious to really stand a chance. Apart from trade barriers and other practical problems, China shares more common interests with India than the US in multilateral trade terms,” Fu said.
“Americans in industrial and commercial circles also complain about India's infrastructure and investment environment. India's intellectual property protection has proved irksome to US enterprises, especially pharmaceutical companies,” it said