Strategic consideration were the reasons behind frequent meetings between U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese state-run media said on Wednesday and cautioned India that it cannot rise by “containing” China or picking one side against the other.
“For Obama, improving U.S.-India ties will help consolidate his diplomatic legacy as seven months are left before he leaves office; for Modi, his visit is aimed at seeking new momentum for developing ties with Washington,” Xinhua news agency said in a commentary on Indo-U.S. ties.
His fourth trip to U.S., as PM
“Strategic consideration is behind the frequent meetings between Obama and Modi as the latter is paying his fourth trip to the U.S. since he took office in 2014,” the commentary said, a day after the two leaders met at the White House.
It said the change in treatment Mr. Modi has received from America was viewed by many as the result of a warming India-U.S. relationship, which has seen ups and downs in recent years.
Banned in the past, now a royal welcome
“Just a few years ago, Modi was banned from entering the U.S. soil...Now, Modi was greeted by a flag-bearing military honour guard when he arrived at the entrance to the West Wing for talks with Obama,” the commentary said.
“What is behind the veil is strategic consideration from both Washington and New Delhi,” it said.
U.S. seeking Asia-Pacific balance
“U.S. attaches importance to India’s strategic value, economic development potential and ideological advantage,” Xinhua quoted Jin Canrong, vice president of the School of International Studies at Renmin University, as saying.
“Embracing India will help consolidate the U.S. rebalance to the Asia-Pacific,” he said.
According to Mr. Jin, India is willing to deepen the India-U.S. relations out of the consideration in both strategic security and economic development.
‘India has independent policy’
The U.S. and India values do not fit each other completely, the news agency quoted Zhao Gancheng, an India expert with Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, as saying.
“India adopts an independent foreign policy and has tried to keep neutral when dealing with major countries,” Mr. Zhao said. “Modi is also a nationalist leader and he will not blindly follow the United States,” he said.
Logistics pact, 6 n-reactors
Referring to various outcomes of the Obama-Modi meeting, it is said the text of a logistics agreement, which will allow the countries’ militaries to use each other’s land, air and naval bases, would be signed soon. It also highlighted the announcement to start preparatory work on site in India for six nuclear reactors to be built by an American company.
The two countries also pledged to develop their defence relations into “an anchor of stability.”
Earlier an article in the state-run Global Times said that India cannot rise by “containing” China or picking one side against the other, while taking note of the Indo-U.S. ties which are being ramped up to an “unprecedented level.”
India’s multi-faceted diplomacy
“Picking one side or camp against the other is not the way India will rise. New Delhi is looking into a multi-faceted diplomacy,” it said.