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India playing "wily games", it is seeking to overtake China with US help, says Chinese Communist Party daily

By Rajiv Shah
The Chinese Communist Party Central Committee's powerful English language daily "Global Times" has taken strong exception to what it has called "twice-postponed two plus two ministerial dialogue between the US and India", which took place on September 6 in New Delhi, saying the meetings suggest "India views China as the main threat to its rise."
Referring to the talks held by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis with their Indian counterparts, External Affairs Minister Sushma e and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in a strongly-worded opinion piece, "India playing wily game with US, Russia and China", the daily says, the aim of the dialogue is to not only "counterbalance and contain China with help of US strength", but also to "overtake China."
Written by Liu Zongyi, associated with the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies, Renmin University of China, and the China (Kunming) South Asia & Southeast Asia Institute, the opinion piece, published on September 11, says that the dialogue "demonstrates the urgent needs of both sides in deepening strategic defence cooperation."
Pointing out that the movement towards such a cooperation can be seen from "the Logistics Support Agreement, Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA), and Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation, the daily these are, in fact, "the three basic agreements that the US signs to form military alliances with other countries".
According to the daily, "One of the main reasons for the formation of the US-India two plus two ministerial dialogue and the inking of the COMCASA is to counterbalance, even contain, China's rise. The US hopes to form military alliances to confront China and exclude it from the process of globalization, as it did with the Soviet Union."
Insisting that enhancing strategic defence partnership with the US is also "India's established strategy", the daily quotes Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who said during her meeting with Pompeo, "India attaches the highest priority to its strategic partnership with the US. We see that the US is our partner of choice."
Suggesting that India is not serious about having a lasting relationship with its northern neighbour, the daily says, no doubt, "the past few months have seen a rapprochement in Sino-Indian relations and sound interactions between the two, with "Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe concluding his India visit just several days before the US-India two plus two dialogue." However, it regrets, "But from the Indian side, this is just a tactical adjustment rather than a strategic one."
According to the daily, "After the China-India Doklam standoff, India has been trapped in an awkward situation -- relations with China and other neighbouring countries deteriorated", even as "moving closer to the US didn't exempt it from tariffs imposed by the Trump administration."
Asserting that the type of "diplomatic quagmire" in which India found itself led to the view that it would "negatively affect Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's election next year", the daily believes, "In such context, Modi recalibrated his diplomatic policy, holding an informal meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi respectively, and keeping a distance with the US at the Shangri-La dialogue."
According to the daily, while "this won India diplomatic maneuvering room and prompted the US to make concessions over a series of issues in the US-India bilateral relations", it also suggested that India was seeking to play "games to gain benefits from all sides -- China, Russia and the US."

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