China is keeping a close eye on the ongoing visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to India which commenced with a grand road show yesterday in Gujarat, where, not a long ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping was seen enjoying a swing with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The mood and warmth is the same, only change is that Mr Abe is enjoying the hospitality instead of Xi.
Obviously, this has not gone down well with the Chinese opinion makers, going by the outburst appeared in Global Times of China.
“After the Doklam standoff, more voices in the Indian media instigate the country to step up cooperation with the US and Japan against China and exaggerate the geopolitical significance of closer India-Japan ties. Yet this to a large degree has exposed the vulnerable feeling of the Indian strategic circle in front of China,” the Global Times wrote in an opinion piece.
“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,” it said.
The paper called Japan as “more narrow-minded in looking for allies globally to encircle China”. But in a changing world, the India-Japan intimacy is more like a contrivance, it said.
“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, despite not being able to let go of the mentality from the 20th century,” the paper said.
Then it went on to suggest that 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 same can be seen as trade warning, although Chinese were more worried with shifting Japanese investment from China to India.
“As geopolitics can no longer direct international relations, those obsessed with geopolitical logic will find it hard to hold on,” the Global Times hoped.
The Chinese were also watching the mood of Indian public at large, calling it a flood of “nationalism”.
“Today India is so flooded by nationalism that many Indian media outlets don’t even know what they are talking about when they rattle their sabers about confronting China.
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,” the opinion piece said.
It said, 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. China can spare some attention to this to remind itself that our strategy needs to be more extensive. Yet it doesn’t matter if China has no time for that, it concluded grudgingly.