World / US and Canada

India, US not 'power' wrestling: expert

By CHEN WEIHUA in Washington and ZHAO SHENGNAN in Beijing (China Daily USA) Updated: 2015-01-29 14:30

"Putting undue emphasis on this aspect of US-Indian relations obscures the many other reasons why India and the United States wish to strengthen their relationship," Roy said.

Roy said the two countries shared many common interests, such as boosting trade and the Middle East. He said earlier efforts to revitalize the US-Indian relationship under President George W. Bush had fallen short of the hopes on both sides, in part because of India's reluctance to be — or to be seen as — a pawn in great power maneuvering between the US and China.

"With India under new leadership, it made sense for the two countries to try to put the relationship on a more stable basis for longer term cooperation," Roy said.

"The results of Obama's visit, particularly the ‘Joint Vision' statement with regard to the Asia Pacific, suggest that they found such a basis in an approach compatible with the interests of both countries in improving their respective relations with China," Roy said.

"This is a healthy development."

Roy, founding director emeritus of the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Wilson Center, pointed out that certain aspects of Obama's visit to India were taken out of context by the media in seeking to give the visit an anti-China slant.

He described the November summit in Beijing between Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping as injecting positive momentum to the further development of Sino-US relations.

"This was not aimed at India or any other country. In my view, it would be wrong to interpret President Obama's visit to India as a form of geopolitical wrestling between China and the United States," he said.

Fu Xiaoqiang, an expert on South Asian studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said the coming three-way meeting between China, Russia and India would focus on exchanging views on regional security and common interests.

The three countries currently cooperate on a range of issues, including industry, trade, agriculture, emergency relief and healthcare, and are also members of various key organizations such as BRICS - a group of five emerging national economies, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - and the G-20 forum of major economies.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization got the ball rolling last year to make India a member of the security group that also includes China and Russia.

China was India's top trading partner last year. The Modi administration is keen on attracting foreign direct investment from China to upgrade India's infrastructure.

Besides meeting with Chinese leaders, Swaraj will kick off the second China-India Media Forum and attend the launch of the Visit India Year during her stay in China.

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