India will not join Japan’s efforts to build a strategic counterweight against China along with the US as it follows an independent foreign policy, state media said here on Tuesday, ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s maiden visit to the US.
Some commentators in Japan suggested that the leaders of Japan and India were aiming to build a strategic counterweight to China while referring to Modi’s recent visit to Japan.
The suggestions are groundless, an article in the online edition of the ‘People’s Daily’, the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, said.
“India, the ‘giant elephant’ of South Asia, operates an independent foreign policy. No major powers including Japan and the US will succeed in imposing their will on India. India’s prudent foreign policy is decided by India’s practical interests,” it said.
China’s President Xi Jinping was the first leader of any major power to visit India after the establishment of the new Indian government, it said referring to Xi’s just concluded visit to New Delhi.
“Indian leaders often point out that you can choose your friends but you cannot choose your neighbours. It is of indispensable strategic value for India to cooperate with China on a friendly basis. How India manages its other relationships is another story,” it said.
To be good neighbours with China has significant geopolitical implications, and is of all-round benefit to both India and China, the article said.
It can be clearly asserted that the stronger the Sino-India relationship is, the better India will be able to manage its relationships with the US and Japan, it said.
China is widely considered to be the biggest rival to the US and Japan. It is currently locked a in a bitter territorial row with Japan over Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea.
Both the US and Japan are inclined to look for allies to help them counter China. They will try to discourage India from any rapprochement with China if the two countries seem to be getting too close, the article said.
“China is seeking long-term benefits from its relationship with India. The Sino-India relationship is of independent strategic value and it has nothing to do with relationships with America and Japan. The Sino-India bond has been improving for many years, better than many other foreign relationships. Rationality and perspective play dominant roles in Sino-India relationships,” it said.
The governments of China and India take a practical and positive approach when it comes to territorial disputes between the two countries, in order not to damage their bilateral relationship, it said.
“This is a most reasonable approach in dealing with territorial disputes in Asia. It also provides the two countries with a new angle to manage this kind of dispute. Itis necessary to understand that China and India are complementary to each other,” the article said.