India not a major player in US’ plan to contain China: media

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi received a “rock-star” welcome in the US, China’s state-run media today downplayed the visit saying India was not “sufficiently strong” and will not be a major player in America’s strategy of containing the communist nation through “rebalancing of the Asia-Pacific”.

Modi’s visit to the US drew considerable attention in China with the official media featuring his visit reports on the front-page with headlines like “Modi makes rock star debut in US”.

“The direction of Indian-American relationships has aroused intensive attention. Media reports say that India has a vital role to play in the US strategy of rebalancing Asia-Pacific. Many people anticipate that the US will rely on India to counter China,” an article in the ruling CPC-run People’s Daily Online said today.

“In fact, no matter how close the relationship between India and the US grows, India will not be a major player on the American team. The ‘rebalancing’ strategy consists of three parts – politics, economy and security. However, Indian national power is not sufficiently strong in any one of the three aspects”, it said.

The article stated that the relations between the two countries “deteriorated” as a result of a diplomatic issue when an Indian diplomat was arrested in the US last year.

Unlike other traditional US allies in Asia such as Japan, South Korea and Australia, India will not take on a major role in the US’ “rebalance in Asia-Pacific” strategy, it said.

The write-up further said that economically India cannot be a major factor in the important economic agenda of the rebalancing strategy.

Noting that the key element of the US rebalance strategy is The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the article said India had not been invited in the negotiation process.

“In respect of security, America hopes to cooperate with India to maintain regional stability. But currently the US strategy focuses on relationships between its traditional partners including Japan, the Philippines and Australia. When it comes to India, American interest is limited to ammunition supply and developing the military forces”, it said.

“It is unrealistic for America to rely on India to play a leading role in its rebalance in Asia-Pacific strategy. There is little prospect of India and the US reaching consensus on Chinese issues, it added.