For the countries like Pakistan, there is lot to learn from the successful Indian diplomacy. It was rightly expected that, the visit of President Obama will have serious consequences for the Indo-China bilateral relationship, therefore, Indian External Affairs Minister, Ms Sushama Swaraj rushed to Beijing in order to clear any misunderstanding, which might have polluted the minds of Chinese leadership. Indeed, there are many issues, between India and China, which need resolution. However, the Indo-US strategic alliance is one factor, which really bothers Beijing very seriously. Even, during the recent visit of President Obama, Prime Minister Modi and US President discussed the China for the initial forty-five minutes. According to Indian media, discussion over China included, its containment by India, the enhance Indian role in the Asia-Pacific and wider cooperation between New Delhi and Washington against the rising might of China in the days to come.
Although, the Chinese State media termed the visit as, superficial, but, in fact, both US and India are giving lot of importance to this visit. It is because, US feels that it can contain China through India and India in turn feels that, US investment and recognition of Indian regional and global role will boost its status both; regionally as well as internationally. But, the reality is that US is using India for its own strategic objectives; the containment of China. US feel that, rising China is going to be a peer competitor for this super power, which it would never like to surrender. Thus, in this region, India is rightly suited to act as a counter balance for the China. While Modi has gained popularity for hosting President Obama and apparently getting US good will, the analysts both Indian and outsiders view it very differently. Some even feel that, “New Delhi is falling into a ‘trap’ that was being laid by the US to pit India against China.” Even one newspaper of China questioned West’s ‘ulterior motives’ to portray the ‘Indian elephant’ and ‘Chinese dragon’ as arch enemies. Another news daily tried to send across an emotional message by affirming that the common interests shared by India and China are ‘way larger than any differences.”
Should India fall into this US trap and create a conflicting situation in this region, where half of the population is prey of poverty and social marginalization. India also understands that despite US and Western support, it is not that powerful enough to militarily defeat China, if a war like situation arises. The memories of 1962 Sino-India war are still fresh in the minds of Indian. Since then, though India has improved, but, it needs years and years to match the Chinese might. Therefore, India should avoid making a front against China and try to normalize its relationship with China. On the issue of Asia-Pacific, US is again trying to entrap India, once President Obama projected a role of India in that region. India has not gained such a status, where it challenges the Chinese role in the South China Sea. Both India and US are conspiring against China through their alliance with some regional countries of ASEAN. Such a situation will create irritants between China and India along with some East Asian and ASEAN states, which would destabilize Asia, rather North America. Should India be playing such negative role, this would be highly unwise for the Indian leadership.
Whereas, US would like to use India strategically for its own interests, New Delhi must be mindful that, president Obama was highly critical about the ongoing wave of religious intolerance in India. He indicated to the Indian leadership, while being in New Delhi that, India has many issues, “ranging from human rights violations and violence against women to the rise of communalism and religious politics.” Obama reiterated this even in White House, where he talked about religious intolerance in various parts of the world including India. Furthermore, the US State Department emphasizes India for improving its relationship with the regional countries, especially Pakistan.
China felt offended over the Indo-US collaboration and particularly the joint statement, about the freedom of navigation in South China Sea. China never stopped free movement of ships in South China Sea, though, it does not like US and Indian interference in the bilateral issues between China and other regional countries having disputes over some islands. Rather Chinese President sent a message of good will for India on the Republic Day of India, saying that, “Beijing is willing to make ‘concerted efforts’ with India to strengthen their strategic partnership since both China and India are ‘pursuing a great dream of national rejuvenation.”
However, China reiterated its strategic partnership with Pakistan and declares Pakistan as a irreplaceable and all weather friend. This was clearly visible from the warm welcome by Chinese military and political leadership to Pakistani Army Chief, General Raheel Sharif, at Beijing. Indeed, “As Modi pumps in new energy into the India-US ties, China wants to show that it has otherfriends in the region.”
For the India, a better way forward would be to improve its relationship with China, Pakistan and other regional countries, rather antagonizing them. Today, both Russia and China have their serious reservations against India. This is mainly because of Modi’s discriminatory policies and growing Indo-US strategic alliance. But, New Delhi should realize that US and EU too have many reservations against India. Should India adopt a peaceful way forward or a confrontational course, the decision lies with Modi Government. India can no more deceive the world through its shade of secularism. It has chosen for itself the role of Hindu fundamentalist state; which threaten the minorities to either accept Hinduism or leave India. Though, PM Narindra Modi will visit China in May, but, there is a huge gulf in the bilateral relations of India and China, which may not be bridged through Beijing Yarta of Modi, except changing Indian mindset about China and the region.