Chinese Policy Institute: India Will Not Play Along with U.S. 'Asia Pivot' Game
October 3, 2014 • 8:12AM

"India Will Not Be a Major Player in America's Game of 'Rebalancing the Asia-Pacific,'" states the headline of a Sept. 30 article in China's People's Daily, which was prominently featured by The Hindu, on Thursday.

The article noted: "An article that appeared in the People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese government, cited three reasons to conclude why New Delhi would not partner a U.S-led 'rebalancing' strategy in the Asia-Pacific that targets China. Also called Washington's 'Pivot to Asia' — a coinage first detailed by former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — the mantra anchors a decision to expand Washington's military profile in the Asia-Pacific, including swathes of the Indian Ocean, by beefing up military capabilities of countries on the periphery of China, including Japan, Australia and the Philippines."

As The Hindu wrote, "The [Chinese] daily pointed out rooted in its non-aligned culture, India will not develop its ties with the U.S. at China's expense. ... Besides, both countries have vowed to forge a 'closer development partnership' during President Xi's visit to India."

The People's Daily article, by Su Xiaohui, deputy director of the Department for International and Strategic Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, was written as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi completed his trip to the United States on Sept. 30.

The People's Daily wrote that "Modi spoke highly of his state visit to the United States in an announcement released before the trip. He said that India regards America as a vital partner for national development and hopes visit will mark a 'new chapter' in a strategic partnership between the two countries....

"Media reports say that India has a vital role to play in the U.S. strategy of 'rebalancing Asia-Pacific.' Many people anticipate that the U.S. will rely on India to counter China.

"In fact, no matter how close the relationship between India and the U.S. grows, India will not be a major player on the American team." While Indian-U.S. relations are developing, there are also vulnerabilities, due to many limitations. "In the short term, unlike other traditional U.S. allies in Asia such as Japan, South Korea and Australia, India will not take on a major role in the U.S. 'rebalance in Asia-Pacific' strategy" either in political, economic, or strategic terms," People's Daily wrote. "The key element of the U.S. rebalance strategy is The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The U.S. is attempting to establish free trade zones in the Asia-Pacific with the help of TPP. However, India has not been invited to participate in the negotiation process....

"Fundamentally, India was one of the countries behind the Non-Aligned Movement. Every Indian government has emphasized that non-alignment is a basic principle of their foreign policy. India adheres to an all-round foreign policy strategy. Not only does India give priority to the India-U.S. relationship, it also attaches great importance to Sino-India relationships.

"The unsolved territorial disputes will not affect the development of Sino-India relations. China and India vowed to forge a closer development partnership when Chinese President Xi Jinping finished his state visit to India a week ago.

"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 U.S. reaching consensus on Chinese issues," concluded the article.