As Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits India, a Chinese daily has said that close ties between New Delhi and Tokyo posed no “grave threat” to Beijing.
China has always been wary of growing proximity between India and Japan with whom it has territorial disputes. The state-run Chinese media has often been critical of fast developing ties between India and Japan.
An op-ed in the Global Times said “the India-Japan intimacy is more like a contrivance” and both were “are unlikely to challenge China without giving it a serious thought”.
It said China would never follow India and Japan “who have somewhat lost themselves”.
“Under the international relations logic of the 21st century, closer India-Japan ties won’t pose grave threats to China because many of their emotional moves to console each other won’t produce any real effects in challenging China.
“A strong China has the confidence that no Asian country can substantially challenge China’s national security nor can they by grouping together. China has been in the core of economic cooperation in Asia. Geopolitics is unlikely to go against the geo-economic situation.”
This is the 10th meeting between Modi and Abe in the past three years. This time, Modi invited the Japanese leader to Ahmedabad. In 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the city in Gujarat where Modi was once the Chief Minister.
Both leaders are likely to beef up their defence and security ties. The sale of US-2 amphibious aircraft is also likely to come up.
Last year, China had angrily reacted to the prospective sale of these aircraft to India.
The newspaper said after the Doklam border row, Indian experts and media have emphasised the need to forge deeper ties with the US and Japan to counter China.
“This has exposed the vulnerable feeling of the Indian strategic circle in front of China,” the article said.
“They want to encourage themselves by calling for India’s alliance with the US and Japan to showcase India’s strategic potential to China. This suits the desperate needs of Indian society’s mentality.”
“As long as Chinese society is mentally strong enough, calls in the Indian and Japanese media for them to draw closer will be in vain. India and Japan are unlikely to form a military and political alliance with the US.
“China’s vast trade with Japan and India greatly dwarfs bilateral trade between India and Japan. Given this, Tokyo and New Delhi are unlikely to challenge China without giving it serious thought.”
The daily added: “China wants to solve problems when it has disagreements with India on specific issues. China won’t actively seek strategic confrontation with India or Japan.”