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India-US Logistics Agreement Makes China Jittery

Dr Raj Kumar Sharma writes: Reality is that India has shown intent and taken steps to improve relations with Beijing. But China has stonewalled such efforts by regularly targeting India’s core concerns.

The logistics agreement signed between India and the US has not gone down well with China, whose state media has said,” If India hastily joins the US alliance system, it may irritate China, Pakistan or even Russia. It may not make India feel safer, but will bring strategic troubles to itself and make itself a center of geopolitical rivalries in Asia.” However, it also goes on to say that India has historically practiced policy of non-alignment in its foreign policy and therefore, India will not lean toward the US, because it will not only hurt India’s self-esteem, more importantly, India can gain more strategic benefits by striking a balance between China and the US.[1]

There are some observations to be made here. First, India is not abandoning its policy of non-alignment. There was a Soviet-tilt in Indian non-alignment policy during the Cold War years. After the end of Cold War, that tilt is being removed so that India also has strategic relations with important countries like the US, France, Britain, Israel and Japan. India’s defense and economic needs are so huge that a single country cannot support them and that is why, India is improving its relations with all the relevant countries. This could be seen as policy of ‘multi-alignment’ which gives India a chance to support its rise. Second, if China and the US can think of having a G-2 arrangement, there is no question why India cannot have better relations with the US. Third, India had been taking into consideration China’s security interests earlier and avoided intensification of strategic relations with the US and even Japan. However, China never appreciated Indian security concerns and went on to have an ‘all weather’ relationship with Pakistan, going to the extent of even aiding its nuclear programme. In a show of ‘double standards’ rarely seen in diplomatic affairs, China well aware of Pakistan proliferation record, has argued for simultaneous NSG membership for Pakistan, if India is made a member of the group. In yet another instance of ‘diplomatic duplicity’, China has been protecting Pakistan based terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi from UN sanctions. China ignores other terrorist groups (which attack India) and seeks Pakistan’s help in tackling East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), an extremist group that targets its restive Xinjiang province and is based in Pakistan’s tribal areas. However, there are numerous examples to show that a terrorist is not ‘good’ or ‘bad’, it is just a terrorist. The recent blast at China’s Kyrgyzstan Embassy is a fresh reminder. What else, even Hafiz Saeed has targeted China over crackdown in Xinjiang, a Muslim dominated area.[2] Lastly, the article says, “China does not resort to regional expansion” which is totally a delusional claim. China’s unilateral claims over areas of South China Sea and Indian Territory in Aksai China and Arunachal Pradesh are a proof that China has expansionist policies. It even illegally occupies Shaksgam Valley which is part of Indian state of J&K.

Reality is that India has shown intent and taken steps to improve relations with Beijing. But China has stonewalled such efforts by regularly targeting India’s core concerns. National interest demands that India should have a better relationship with the US, since the Chinese are not sensitive to India’s security concerns.

The link to the Global Times Editorial is: http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1003574.shtml

Endnotes

[1] Is India heading toward alliance with US?, Global Times, http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1003574.shtml

[2] Pakistan cannot accept China’s rejection of Islam says Hafiz Sayeed, http://www.theweek.in/news/world/pakistan-cannot-accept-china-rejection-of-islam-says-hafeez-Sayeed.html

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