New Delhi, October 3: Ties between India and China have been tensed in the last few months due to the standoff at Doklam plateau, an area which belongs to Bhutan. India has also been cementing its strategic ties with the USA and eyeing its state-of-the-art weapons platform to strengthen its defence forces much to China’s chagrin. Also Read - Standoff Between Indian, Chinese Troops in Ladakh Ends After Delegation-level Talks
US Defense Secretary James Mattis became US President Donald Trump’s administration’s first cabinet-level and highest ranking official to visit India. Also Read - India-China Relations Looking up, Four Meetings at Highest Level in a Year Unprecendented: Sources
But the tour was not seen favourably by the Chinese media. “Washington is attempting to tie New Delhi to its chariot, but US intention cannot bring about India’s rise or act as a viable bargaining chip for India in handling its relations with China. India will have to rely on itself rather than a few weapons the US sells to it, for its ambitions,” an article titled ‘US should not determine India’s status in Asia’ in the Global Times said. Also Read - Arunachal Pradesh: Chinese Troops Cross Line of Actual Control, Sent Back by Indian Army
The article claimed that Mattis was in India with the aim to encourage New Delhi “to play a larger role in the Afghanistan issue and “sell weapons to India”. According to the Global Times New Delhi is getting closer to Washington with the aim of containing Beijing. (Also read: People Living at India-China Border Are ‘Strategic Assets’, Should Not Migrate: Rajnath Singh)
Mattis discussed the sale of 22 Sea Guardian remotely-piloted vehicles worth $2 billion. The aircraft are the most advanced maritime reconnaissance drones and will give the much-needed edge to the Indian Navy.
“For Washington, the idea of China encircling India is a useful strategy to draw New Delhi to its side and an advertisement for American weapons. If India exerts itself addressing an alleged China threat, it will gradually evolve into a chess piece for the US and a source of funding for “America First.” This is not supposed to be the major power status that New Delhi is pursuing,” the article added.
“New Delhi’s status in Asia should not be determined by Washington’s China strategy. The peaceful solution to the Doklam standoff suggests that China and India have the capability to eliminate exterior interventions and diplomatically handle crises. India would be more mature and confident if it could view high-level exchanges with the US without regard for any perceived need to contain China,” the article concluded.