New Delhi, Jan 27: Cautioning India about US President Barack Obama's strategy to "split" India's relations with both China and Russia, China's official media and experts today warned that New Delhi's close ties with Washington may pose problems for Sino-India relations.
"Obama's strategy is quite clear. He wants to split the relations between China and India, as well as India and Russia, in an effort to fulfill his strategy of a 're-balance' in Asia," state-run Global Times said.
The daily also featured Obama's presence at India's 66th Republic Day parade with Prime Minister Narendra Modi prominently on its front page. India and the US have signalled a "new era" in their ties after Obama and Modi signed a number of new deals, the report said, quoting Zhou Fangyin, a professor at the Guangdong Research Institute for International Strategies as saying. While some say the US intends to use India as a wedge to contain China, most experts agree that New Delhi will not take sides, it said.
Zhao said US is courting India to become an ally in South Asia to contain China by supporting economic and military development.
"Obama keeps pushing India to boost ties with US in coalition to counter the so-called 'China threat' as the US has already become frustrated with the slow pace of New Delhi's economic reforms and unwillingness to side with Washington in international affairs," Zhao said. However, analysts agreed that India is unlikely to become an ally of the US as it follows its long-standing nonaligned diplomatic strategy, the daily said.
"Moreover, boosting the economy is Modi's top priority and he knows he needs China to boost the economy in terms of investment and technology," Zhao said. Zhao added that Modi is taking advantage of the differences between various global powers.
Fu Xiaoqiang, a research fellow from the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, echoed Zhao. "India always wants to play a more important role in international affairs, for which it needs US support. But the government knows that a coalition with the US could be problematic for Sino-India relations," Fu said.
"Modi inked many economic cooperation deals with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who visited the country in September , so it is impractical to become US ally," Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow with the Institute of International Relations at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times. He said Modi, unlike former Indian leaders, often "unconsciously" sides with the US in international affairs because he is eager to demonstrate the "important role" of India as one of his achievements.