China should not feel cornered by a raft of geopolitical moves by the US and Japan against it by forging closer ties with India, Russia and others in the region and Beijing should focus on becoming a strong economic and military power, a state-run daily said today. Taking note of the just inked Indo-US logistics agreement, an editorial in the Global Times titled ‘Geopolitical games shouldn’t divert China’ said that some American media outlets were erroneously depicting the deal as signals of India leaning towards the US alliance system.
The editorial said that Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was planning to prioritise economic cooperation with Russia, despite the lack of progress in their long-standing territorial dispute over the Kuril Islands chain, which stretches from the Japanese island of Hokkaido to the southern tip of Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula. “This can be seen as a significant change in Japan’s policy toward Russia. Abe is also reportedly going to attend the Eastern Economic Forum scheduled to be held in Russia’s Far Eastern city of Vladivostok where he will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin,” it said.
“The leaders of the two states are expected to work on eight economic cooperation plans,” it said, adding Japan’s moves can easily be viewed as imposing geopolitical pressure on China through improving ties with Russia. “To China’s south, US President Barack Obama will head to Laos for the East Asia Summit, after attending the G20 summit to be held in China’s eastern city of Hangzhou over the weekend. He will be the first incumbent US president to visit Laos, and this has been interpreted as his last efforts to address his pivot to the Asia-Pacific strategy before he leaves office,” it said.
“China seems to be positioned in the centre of the geopolitical manoeuvres by the US and Japan. But Beijing should not let its attention be led by the two. “Geopolitics in the 21st century is not like the traditional game where every piece aims to encircle the others,” it said. “China has just become a real major power. China needs to develop modern national defence, and at the same time keep long-term economic vitality and expand its vision,” it said. The Chinese military should become so strong that we can withstand any external military pressure, the state-run paper, known for its strong nationalist views, said.
The Chinese economy should retain its momentum of long-term prosperity that will surpass that of the US, it said. “This is the primary task for China, and we should not let our attention be diverted by the clamorous geopolitical rivalry in the Asia-Pacific,” it added.