China has said that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s assertion to shore up ties with India and his criticism of Beijing smacked of “bias”, as a state-run media termed it as an attempt by Washington to lure New Delhi to counter-balance Beijing. Ahead of his first visit to India, Tillerson said the US “will not shrink from China’s challenges to the rules-based order and where China subverts the sovereignty of neighbouring countries and disadvantages the US and our friends.” “In this period of uncertainty and angst, India needs a reliable partner on the world stage. I want to make clear: with our shared values and vision for global stability, peace and prosperity, the US is that partner,” Tillerson had said at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies – a Washington-based think tank. Playing down his criticism of China and remarks to deepen ties with India, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters yesterday that “many media are very interested in the development of relations between India and the US”. “We are happy to see the development of relations between these countries as long as they are conducive to the peaceful development of the region and enhancement of relations among the regional countries,” he said.
On Tillerson’s remarks branding China a “predatory rule breaker” specially in the South China Sea and leaving countries in debt, Lu said US should take more objective look at China’s development. “China steadfastly upheld the international order with the UN at the core and based on the purposes and principles of UN charter we will firmly uphold the multilateralism yet we will also firmly safeguard our own interests and rights,” he said.
China hopes that Washington can look China’s development in objective way as well as China role in the international community, Lu said. US should “abandon its biased views on China and work with it towards the same goal to uphold the momentum for a steady and sound China relations,” Lu said.
“Although the US State Department claims that the US- India relationship is in response to ‘negative Chinese influence in Asia’, Washington understands that this expression is more political rather than practical,” Hu Zhiyong, a fellow researcher at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of International Relations, told Global Times.
“The US is surely aware of the fact that Sino-US relations outweigh US-India relations. Tillerson’s way of speaking was just to comfort India before Trump’s scheduled visit to China in November,” said Jiang Jingkui, director of Peking University’s South Asian Languages Department.
Hu noted that the US policy making in South Asia is cantered on Afghanistan, with the focus more on regional stability rather than simply containing China. For that reason, to effectively safeguard Afghan stability, the US still needs China’s assistance, he added.
“In Washington’s new South Asia policy as sketched out by Tillerson, the US intension of turning New Delhi into a stronghold to counterbalance Beijing could not be more obvious,” an article in state-run Global Times said. It is not hard to comprehend such a move, which the US has been practicing for quite some time, it said.