REBALANCING STRATEGY FOR CHINA

ALI SUKHANVER

Ali SukhanverIs it true that President Obama is going to visit China soon? Might be true might not be true but we cannot deny the urgent need of his visit to China. Obama’s recent visit to India no doubt brought India and US closer to each other but at the same time this visit widened the already increasing distances between China and US. The warming up of Indo-US relations especially in the nuclear sphere poses a direct threat to the Chinese national interests and the Chinese leadership is very well aware of this severe threat to China. A few months back, the CNS China published an article with the title, ‘China and the Nuclear Tests in South Asia’. The article said, “China is now facing a new and potentially more dangerous security environment. Its nuclear neighbors have doubled following the nuclear tests of Pakistan and India in the South, joining Russia in the North. Chinese officials blame India for initiating the crisis in South Asia while Pakistan remains one of China’s oldest and most powerful allies in Asia.  China states that it is mainly concerned with the negative impact of the tests on global nuclear non-proliferation efforts, and Beijing views the tests as a direct threat to regional stability and Chinese security.” Moreover it is not only China but also Russia which looks at India’s nuclear program as a direct threat to its security as well as a threat to the regional peace. After Obama’s recent visit to India, both China and Russia are feeling uneasy over rapidly growing nuclear closeness between US and India. Apprehending Chinese anxiety over US-India nuclear closeness after Obama’s visit to India, Sushma Swaraj, the Indian Foreign Mistier paid a visit to China. Apparently her visit was to review arrangements for Mr.Modi’s visit to China in near future but in fact it was an attempt to pacify Chinese anxiety. According to the NDTV, the analysts say that Ms Swaraj’s visit to Beijing, which comes just about a week after US President Barack Obama’s visit to India, is being seen as an attempt to soothe Chinese nerves; Mr. Obama’s visit was seen as the forging of a new alliance in the Asia Pacific region aimed at China.

 

The Indian authorities know it very well that US’ nuclear advancements towards India are not in favour of China, and this present scenario is no doubt a cause of heart-burning for China and that the Chinese authorities must be certainly planning something volatile to counter this situation. Keeping all these realities in view, the Indian leadership is initiating intense diplomatic activities to make China realize that India’s overture to US will not be at the cost of bilateral relations with China. But how could China ignore the policy statement of Mr. Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi which very clearly referred to free sea lanes and air passages in the South China Sea. China considers India’s warming of relations with USA a direct threat to Chinese national interests. Moreover Indo-China relations have never been very cordial and friendly. Both the countries have so many conflicting issues which have always extended the already widening distances between the two countries.

The people of China have a strong disliking for India. Bo Zhen, a well known Chinese analyst on strategic affairs penned down an article in August, 2014, ‘Assessing US-India Relations: A Perspective from China’. Bo Zhen says, ‘The US considers China an emerging threat, and it has historically attempted to make India its pawn in the Asia-Pacific ‘rebalancing strategy’. Its long-term strategy therefore is to use India to contain the rise of China. The fundamental aim is to contain China by developing friendly but utilitarian foreign relations with India and maintaining its dominant role in the Asia-Pacific region.’ In an article published in the East Asia Forum, Louise Merrington has commented on Indo-China relationship in a very interesting way. She says ‘ Growing closeness between India and the US has caused some concern in China about the possibility that the US may be establishing a policy of containment or encirclement, and this concern in turn affects China’s relationship with both the US and India’. It means the Chinese authorities are very much confirmed that US interference rather intrusion in the regional affairs of the South Asia is very much suspicious and it would simply cause imbalance in the region with serious implications for global security. Keeping this entire situation in view, the US president will have to do something extra-ordinary to pacify China and to assure China that US is not promoting India as the future super power in the South-Asian region. If the US does not play the expected role, China will have to decide herself how to maintain her supremacy in the region.

 

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