Indo-Pacific strategy a trap by Washington

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/5/31 23:08:42

The US military renamed its Pacific Command to Indo-Pacific Command on Wednesday, a plan that was disclosed earlier. The announcement garnered attention for Washington's Asia strategy. Analysis focused on the symbolic and real significance of the name change. Many media outlets also viewed the decision as Washington roping in India to exert more pressure on China.

That is one important strategic consideration for the US. But we think Washington eyes long-term goals for its Indo-Pacific strategy: first, to instigate China and India into long-term infighting; second, to cope with the inevitable rise of India and strengthen Washington's control of the Indian Ocean.

China's rise is not an isolated case. Rather it is precursor to the rise of the Asian continent. The emergence of China and India represents the trend of developing countries stepping into the forefront of the world and striving for fairer global economic and political rules.

Westerners hold a complicated feeling viewing the development of China and India. Western opinion currently favors India, a result of temporary geopolitical calculation. With India's continuous economic success, antipathy toward New Delhi will emerge in the West sooner or later. India is enjoying smooth diplomacy at the moment, but it won't last very long. In probably 20 years, its relations with the West will become highly complicated.

For Washington, driving a wedge between China and India is its best Asia policy. Its main allies in Asia also actively pursue it, which was almost realized during the Doklam crisis in the summer of 2017. As long as China and India maintain normal relations, security competition in the Indian Ocean won't occur between these two countries. The US will do its utmost to be the dominant player, barring any country from sharing power.

The Indian media is now full of vigilance toward China building ports in Sri Lanka and Pakistan. But China has no military base in the Indian Ocean. The Indian Ocean signifies a transportation route to China, but for the US it is a major battlefield for consolidating its global hegemony. In the long run, the primary contradictions in the area will occur between the US and India. US' Diego Garcia military base in the Indian Ocean will increasingly become a bone of contention, irritating India as the US enhances its status.

Two possible scenarios can unfold in Asia. China and India might be dragged by the US into an exhausting dispute with the rise of the two both delayed, or China and India can resolve or shelve disputes to promote their own development with Asia as a whole embarking on modernization.

The Indo-Pacific strategy is a trap set by Washington to bury the rise of China and India. But judging by New Delhi's response to this strategy so far, India has its own considerations. There is little possibility that India will fall into the trap.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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