India key 'pawn' in Indo-Pacific strategy: China daily

China's right-leaning newspaper said Indo-Pacific strategy would 'hamper' the One Belt and One Road initiative. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 06, 2017, 08.41 AM (IST)

China's right-leaning newspaper Global Times in its editorial said Indo-Pacific strategy proposed by US President Donald Trump is designed to maintain US clout in the region.

The newspaper said: "Historical disputes and conflicts of interest between China and India provide an opportune point for US strategic adjustment," adding
"India is a key pawn in the Indo-Pacific strategy."

The newspapers which often reports on strategic defense issues especially on issues related to South Asia, said Trump administration hopes India would 
ramp up efforts to "restrain China's strategic maritime channels" in the Indian Ocean and "destroy China's strategic foothold".
 
"Once the Indo-Pacific strategy is implemented, Washington and New Delhi will lift the status and role of military bases and facilities in the Indian Ocean 
and consequently, add security risks to China in the waters," the China daily said.

"In addition, the Indo-Pacific strategy will pose a threat to the hard-won stability of the South China Sea, the situation there remains basically stable due 
to the joint efforts of China and ASEAN countries," it said.

The newspaper added that the Indo-Pacific strategy would "hamper" the One Belt and One Road initiative(OBOR) - a key foreign policy tool of President Xi, "driving a wedge between China and Indian Ocean countries".

The newspaper said: "US should realize that despite the Indo-Pacific strategy, it is unlikely to get what it failed to obtain with the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific."

The Global Times feared that Japan's "go south" policy and India's "act east" policy will complicate the South China Sea issue, concluding that only "non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation can head toward a new model of major-country relationship."