India should not fall into the “trap” of the US and Japan who are trying to use it to contain China, the official media said, underlining that such a move may make New Delhi face more risks. “Washington hopes to use New Delhi to contain China in the Indian Ocean. Tokyo wishes to counter-balance China in the Pacific Ocean with the help of New Delhi,” an editorial in the Chinese version of the state-run Global Times said.
“All these seem to be strategic opportunities for India, but they are actually nothing more than traps. Once India falls into them, the country will become a pawn for the US and Japan and will lose numerous opportunities while facing more risks,” it said.
“As a nation which sees itself as a major power, if India relies on external forces for its security, it will become more self-abased. The best path for India’s development is to be more open to its neighbours and join regional development programmes such as the Belt and Road (Silk Road) initiative,” it said.
The Asia-Pacific security pattern seems to have entered a phase of uncertainty as the US seems to be increasing its military presence in the region though President Donald Trump’s strategy for the region is yet to be made clear, it said. “Nevertheless, it won’t stop China’s rise. Both China and India have the potential to play bigger roles in Asia-Pacific security,” it said.
Referring to reports that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in their phone conversations have agreed to intensify defence and security cooperation, the editorial said that India seems to be wary about “enlarging gap” with China.
“In addition, with the enlarging gap in its competition with China, New Delhi seems to be increasingly wary of Beijing’s development. With Chinese railways, ports and hydroelectric projects extending to India’s periphery, the country is haunted by its self-surmised “China’s besiegement,” it said. “Mutual trust between China and India is not only about how they perceive each other, but more about how they view themselves. Only when a country becomes more confident in its development and strength, and more active in providing the periphery with more opportunities, would it have broader strategic horizons,” it said.
Quite a few projects that China is involved in right now, including a number of initiatives in the Indian Ocean, are what a major power is obliged to do in order to integrate into economic globalisation, it said, adding they are based on mutual benefit. “If India changes its perspective, it will discover more opportunities rather than threats,” it said.