“There is a pressing and crucial need for Indian leadership in the Asia-Pacific region. The U.S. is preparing for have unprecedented cooperation with India in the international waters”, said Richard Varma, U.S. Ambassador to India, to a group of Indian journalists on Monday. According to a AP report, the U.S. wants India to play a leading role in the Asia Pacific region.
The report also revealed that Richard Varma said, “I hope in a not too distant future, Indian and American aircraft carriers operating side-by-side in the in the Indian Ocean and the Asia-Pacific region will be a common sight. Ambassador Varma also revealed that later this April U.S. Defence Secretary Carter will make an unprecedented third visit to India in a year.
Varma said, America’s providing the very first Apache attack helicopter and M777 howitzers to India is “akin to Washington’s defence relationships with its closest NATO’s close allies”. But it was also pointed out that India-U.S. cooperation is not directed against China.
On whether the U.S.’s approach to India has good intentions, The China institute of international studies South Asia expert, Lan jianxue, outlined in an interview with this journalist that this is the U.S.’s method of placing its grip on the South China Sea issue and exerting pressure on China. Earlier, the U.S. National Defence Spokesperson stated, “we want to hold hands with India in the South China Sea”;— this is to retrain China and compel it to give up its sovereignty in the South China Sea. This is is not just the view of the American military but also other American high-ranked officials for whom it is a “mission to spread its propaganda and make an uproar” on a global scale.
Lan jianxue said that America is exploiting India’s superpower aspirations and competition between India and China and by seizing the opportunity to place negative views to serve U.S. interests. Yes, India does possess its own aspirations to play an important role in the Asia-Pacific. Previously, at a conference with India’s Defence Minister, Carter said India’s “Act East” policy and America’s “Asia-Pacific Pivot” strategy share a lot of common approaches. But India’s national strength has limits; plus there are domestic problems that need resolving. India is aware of this and therefore is relatively prudent and cautious of being “trapped in America war tank”. It certainly will not be beneficial for India to try and have it both ways. Previously, India’s MEA refused America’s proposal to have a joint drill in the the South China Sea. As a result, this is America’s idea of trying to find another way in.
For the sake of comparison, China is a big country but has never said it is going to become the leader in the Asia-Pacific. Instead it has always stressed win-win cooperation. Lan jianxue said the U.S. is trying to create a wedge between India and China to further American interests.