Sorry US, not India or Japan but Washington faces the danger of isolation
An American lawmaker has recently warned that China was aiming to "isolate" India and Japan and project its power to control the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). He also said that Beijing is targeting Taiwan, which it claims to be its own part, by planning to turn it into a "major nuclear and conventional military base".
He said by doing so, China will be able to influence both the IOR and disputed South China Sea where it recently installed military devices to Washington's dismay.
He also expressed a deep concern over China's growing and military power.
US is desperate to not lose out to China
This observation has its share of shortcomings and shows a sense of desperation in the ranks of the US at a time when Washington is turning increasingly isolationist in world affairs, thanks to the bizarre foreign policy conduct of US President Donald Trump.
There is very little reason to feel convinced that China is working overtime to isolate India and Japan. It is true that the Chinese plan and work clandestinely and it is very difficult to assess their policies immediately but yet, to expect that China will open too many 'war fronts' at a time when the US's own policy blunders is opening up avenues for Beijing across the globe is a flawed understanding.
The American lawmaker who has aired suspicion over China's intent, Richard Fisher, thinks Beijing is ready with a strategy to gain global military access called "debt trap diplomacy" whereby it would influence vulnerable countries bordering India and the IOR to gain control of strategic theatres and infrastructure and limit its rivals' reach to those areas.
He also mentioned about China's influence in Djibouti where it opened its first overseas military base last year saying it was restricting the US's military access there.
China is winning as US is busy with mindless policy moves
The idea of China's debt trap diplomacy might not be entirely wrong but at the same time, factors like protectionism which none other than the US is promoting at the moment, pushing nations sometimes even its allies to a position of disadvantage, will ensure that not all sides view China as an enemy.
Recently, we saw Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping over an informal summit in Wuhan and also a trilateral meeting between the top leaders of China, Japan and South Korea in Tokyo where among other things, trade was discussed.
The US's stubborn stance to safeguard its own economic interests even if that hurts others has helped China to find more friends because there is a common concern now among various world economies and they would now promote free trade by inching closer to each other.
More than enmity with China, countries will get closer to it
The thought that China is trying to outsmart countries like India and Japan strategically and politically will be less appealing at the moment and only the US is responsible for ceding this advantage to China by diverting attention of the world from Beijing' secret plans. And as long as Trump continues with his administration's suicidal policies, a common lawmaker's words will not make much difference.
If China is doing everything it can to emerge as a global alternative to the US, then the latter also needs to come up with a better plan to outsmart Beijing. Instead, it is leading to a mess through kicking off a trade war and making dubious foreign policy moves (Iran deal; Jerusalem or North Korea) that only sees China getting an opening to raise its stature and finding more friends - economically and politically - as countries are feeling it is safer to mend fences with a solid China than expect cooperation from an unpredictable US.
Both India and Japan have their reasons to feel concerned over the Trump presidency's drastic calls and it is evident from their intention to build bridges with China in case the US shuts its door for all tomorrow. Contrary to the isolation of India and Japan, it is the US which has the danger of ending up isolated in a China-led world system.