Barack Obama's India visit aimed at containing China: Think tank

Beijing, Jan 25: As US President Barack Obama arrived in India for an unprecedented second visit, a wary Beijing kept a close watch on its outcome amid commentaries by official think tanks here that the trip is aimed at containing China but New Delhi will not fall for it.

Barack Obama's India visit aimed at containing China
Obama's arrival was a breaking news on state-run CCTV which showed live feed of him being received by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the airport with questions on how it is going to impact China and whether it was part of the US strategy to contain Beijing's growing influence in the region.

Highlighting the significance of Obama's visit from China's point of view, Prof Wang Yewei of the School of international relations at the Renmin University told CCTV that Obama became the first US President visiting India for the second time and the visit was also aimed at leaving his diplomatic legacy.

Also from US point of view, India is the key for America's so called Indo-Pacific strategy aimed at containing China besides balancing Beijing's Silk Road push into the Indian Ocean, he said.

"Of course it is American strategy to use India against China. But we understand India also need strategic co-operation with US in defence and security because India has suffered due to separatists and terrorist attacks and need capital investment from the US. We should understand that from India's needs," Wang said.

The visit was also aimed at containing the Chinese and Russian influence in India, he said. China is India's largest trade partner ranking above US, he said, adding that US needs to balance China's influence in this regard.

"But India is a civilisational state for long time and pursues independent foreign policy. It is not easy for anybody to use it," he said.

Wang said India is also a fast growing economy and its growth rate is shortly expected to surpass China. Also, India is the key to climate negotiations. "Obama wants to achieve various diplomatic goals for which he needs India's help," he said.

An article in state-run Global Times earlier this week said a breakthrough in India-US strategic relations is unlikely during Obama's visit due to Indian sensitivities relating to Pakistan and climate issues.

"Even though the India-US bond has grown stronger, the US will never stop considering Pakistan as its ally in the war on terror. So, it won't be a surprise if India responds negatively when US keeps sending military aid to Pakistan.

"As a country that has long maintained non-alignment policy, India has no intention to shift its diplomatic strategy, not now and not in the future. Consequently, any cooperation could be treated as nothing but seeking mutual benefit," it said.


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