China keeping close watch on deepening India-Japan tieshttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/web/china-keeping-close-watch-on-deepening-indiajapan-ties/

China keeping close watch on deepening India-Japan ties

Zhao said that India should not come to the Asia Pacific only with the intention of playing geo-political games.

With Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko slated to kick-off a five day visit to India by the end of this month,the one nation keeping a close tab on the strengthening ties between India and Japan,is China.

Zhao Gancheng,senior fellow and director,Centre for South Asia Studies at the think tank Shanghai Institutes for International Studies said it would be difficult for China to hail a possible security and military alliance between India and Japan.

At a time when there are growing tensions between Japan and China over the Diaoyu islands,Japan’s push towards improving ties with Asian countries has raised eyebrows in Beijing.

Chinese foreign affairs experts,however,do not object to economic co-operation between the two Asian giants — Japan and India — and say that China would like to work with both of them for growth.

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Zhao said that India should not come to the Asia Pacific only with the intention of playing geo-political games. “If India tries to build a security and military alliance with Japan (as Japan wishes to see) for a common purpose of going against China then I don’t have a way to convince the Chinese public that China should welcome India,” said Zhao.

Other experts voice similar opinions and add that while relations between Japan and China are delicately poised for now,Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is not only working towards improving economic ties with other countries but is also working towards isolating China.

Yang Wenchang,president,Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs,said that even though some Chinese media agencies have been voicing that India should not host the Japanese Emperor and Empress,the Chinese government believes that it is a part of the bilateral relations between India and Japan.

He,however,hinted India to understand the gestures shown by the Chinese side. “India should see that China has a strong desire to improve our relations. The new Chinese premier visited India before he visited Pakistan and I believe that sends a signal,” said Yang.

While Japan has been looking to strengthen its relations with several Asian countries in the recent past,China feels Japan is working towards isolating it. “We are not concerned about India,we are only concerned at the attempt of Japan at isolating China and I don’t believe Prime Minister Abe will succeed in what he is trying to do,” added Yang.

Nevertheless China sees an improvement in economic co-operation between India and Japan as positive for itself too. “Economic linkages between Japan and India provide India with additional opportunity for economic development and China welcomes that kind of development. Faster developing India with more prosperity would provide China with additional opportunities — markets and other economic resources,” said Yang.

(The correspondent was in China at the invitation of the Chinese Embassy,New Delhi.)