Taking stock of the “big picture,” following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s high-profile visit to the United States, China has arrived at the conclusion that India would not join Japan, Australia and the Philippines in an anti-Beijing coalition led by Washington.
An article that appeared in the People’s Daily , the official newspaper of the Chinese government, cited three reasons to conclude why New Delhi would not partner a U.S-led “rebalancing” strategy in the Asia-Pacific that targets China.
Also called the Washington’s “Pivot to Asia”— a coinage first detailed by former U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton - the mantra anchors a decision to expand Washington’s military profile in the Asia-Pacific, including swathes of the Indian Ocean, by beefing up military capabilities of countries on the periphery of China, including Japan, Australia and the Philippines.
The daily pointed out that rooted in its non-aligned culture, India will not develop its ties with the U.S. at China’s expense. “India adheres to an all-round foreign policy strategy. Not only does India give priority to the India-U.S. relationship, it also attaches great importance to Sino-India relationships,” the daily observed.
Besides, both countries have vowed to forge a “closer development partnership” during President Xi’s visit to India. The article reiterated that the “unsolved territorial disputes will not affect the development of Sino-India relations”. The comment coincides with an agreement on the pull back by forces of both sides to their original position, thus ending the recent flare up in Ladakh.
From a Chinese perspective, the core of the “rebalancing” doctrine would unfold in Japan, where 40,000 U.S. troops would be positioned and in South Korea, where 28, 500 American servicemen were to be stationed. A U.S. Congressional Research Service report had earlier stated that Washington would post 2,500 troops in Darwin, Australia, and discussions were underway to allow U.S. Navy greater access in Perth.
Referring to the economic aspect of the “rebalancing” doctrine, the newspaper pointed out that India was not even in the frame in the formation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which was at the heart of the approach to restrain China’s economic rise. The countries participating in the TPP include Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Canada, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
On the contrary, India was focused inwards, seeking foreign investments to bolster its domestic economy. “India has established an economic and financial partnership with America. One of (Mr.) Modi's tasks during his visit is to promote an Indian economic recovery plan. The Indian government has therefore arranged a set of joint activities with American business elite for their Prime Minister Modi in order to attract more American investment,” the newspaper observed.