Beijing, Jan 26: India and China must not fall into the trap of rivalry set by the West to support the US' "pivot to Asia" strategy, mainly devised to counter China's rise, state-run media here said today as Barack Obama became the first US President to attend India's Republic Day parade.
It said that India which has "ambitions to be a major power" needs US investment, technologies and political support so that its 'Look East' foreign policy will better function to "counter-balance China's growing influence".
The commentary said that the "fixed pattern of thinking was created and hyped up by the West, which, with ulterior motives, regards the Chinese dragon and the Indian elephant as natural rivals."
"This theory, under the strong publicity campaigns of the West, has become plausible event in both Indian and Chinese public opinion, although it is more popular in India than in China," it said.
The daily cautioned that the West is "egging India on to be fully prepared for threats posed by its large neighbour and trying to set a trap." It advised that putting aside debates over specific issues, China and India must keep in mind that their relations cannot take a life-or-death struggle as a foothold.
The article said the common interests India and China share are way larger than any differences.
"As both are emerging powers, which have the huge potential of being important forces in the international community, China and India should see more space for cooperation instead of contention. This agreement is fundamental to bilateral relations," it said.
"A zero-sum game is not what China and India are asking for, but under Western influence, India is sliding into it," the commentary said.
The state-run daily said although both sides still have disagreements on some specific matters, Beijing and New Delhi should come to terms with a bottom line of interactions, making sure the big picture remains intact.