Recently, Japan was “invited” to participate in the annual India-U.S. joint Malabar maritime military exercise held in the Northern part of the Philippine Sea. This shows that the Abe government is pushing for India, America, Australia and Japan to form a “security quadrilateral”. The target of their strategy is certainly to trap and contain China and it is clear that it is portraying China as the villain.
Why are India and Japan wading into the muddy waters of the South China Sea along with the U.S.? Evidently, this is closely related to the current “form” and “potential” of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. This intense clash between the grand approaches of the three major powers — U.S. “rebalancing to Asia”, China’s “maritime Silk Route and India’s “Act East” diplomacy will have far reaching implications.
In general, all the countries in the Pacific and Indian Ocean region are taking the dominant “vertical & horizontal alliance” (Translators note: this is the name of the opposing stratagems, formulated during the Warring States period in an essay submitted to the Emperor) to maintain relations with both China and America; essentially hedging their bets on “American security and the Chinese economy”. From India and Japan’s point of view, they are confronted with the question of maintaining a balance between their security policy stance towards the U.S. and economic policy towards China.
The US favours the Modi government’s “Act East” diplomacy and the Abe government’s strong military strategy and supports both these countries with which it has “special global strategic partnership”. “Global”, “Strategic” and “Special”, these three selling points outline their anxiety to “shore up India” as a regional and global strategic player.
The Modi government’s “Act East” policy and the Abe government’s militarisation strategy is giving rise to sympathetic vibrations in the backdrop to the U.S’s pivot towards Asia stance. The two countries are joining hands and walking together as part of their new “special global strategic partnership”. “Strategic” and “Special” are the three major selling points, which draw out their urgent desire to play the role of “Indo-Pacific” regional as well as global strategic players.
Recent diplomatic files show that India and Japan have concluded a series of agreements at the centre of which is collaboration in the strategy in the “Indo-Pacific” area. Modi’s visit to Japan in September 2014 was aimed at developing political and military relationship between India and Japan and advancing India’s Act East policy. During Abe’s visit to India in December 2015, India-Japan relations were upgraded to the level of the “world’s highest potential”.
Japanese say that the build-up and hardening of India-Japan relations is dependent on a “destiny that ties people together”: Buddhist connections, people-to-people ties, business ties and current times; these all evidently attract Japan to India. This global strategy assessment is comparatively special: the foundation of present India-Japan relations is due to a convergence in their regional, security, and China strategy.
Modi’s Act East strategy and Abe’s “Global diplomacy” are different means to achieve the same result. 从地球南侧的东南亚、南亚，“干”到了东北亚甚至“印太”地区。 It cannot be denied that the relationship with “special, “global” “strategy” significance will gradually change from commitments to hard work.
Japan possesses its own calculations and strategy. India is a country with its own strengths and capabilities in both the Asian landmass and the Indian Ocean region. Due to this, India fits in as a “natural ally” to counter China within the Abe government’s “Indo-Pacific” strategy “by default”,. Therefore to this end, Japan when driving forward its relations with India — namely scheming against China — Japan disregards economic costs. Its diplomacy is unprincipled and its military does not demand reciprocity.
Although India has for long adhered to a “policy independence” approach,through its respected non-alignment policy, “in reality it forms alliances”. Prioritizing the economic and infrastructure development and controlling the Chinese dragon by taking the sea route, India wants to play along to Japan’s “Indo-Pacific” strategy. 故而对日外交也有假戏真做、欲拒还迎的成分. In such a scenario, what is the meaning of India and Japan’s “Go east”, “Go global” diplomacy?
First is economic cooperation. In 2014 Abe promised an investment of $35 billion over a period of five years. Both the countries signed an agreement to build high speed rail from Mumbai to Ahmedabad, which included a loan from Japan of 1000 Trillion Yen. Second is defense cooperation. Both the sides signed agreements on technology transfer and cooperation in manufacturing weapons. India also wants to take the US-2 amphibious anti-submarine aircraft and other developed equipment from Japan. Third is maritime cooperation. Japan and India aim to strengthen their existing maritime cooperation in South China Sea and neighboring seas. Japan’s participation in “Malabar” exercise can be considered as India & Japan joining hands in the South China Sea and is pregnant with possibilities. 日印南海联手之珠胎暗结.
In this situation, Abe cannot help but cheer: “India-Japan relations are entering a new era.” Is this really true? Based on analysis of the following aspects the foundation of this relationship is not at all sturdy.
Indian and Japanese leaders are using a security strategy for mutual benefit for speculative advantage and no one will question the issue of national interest like other people’s wedding dress. In addition, the China policy of both the countries is very different—Modi will not deviate from the core, India’s China policy cannot be seen as going very “different”. Most importantly, China’s economy is big with a lot of potential and China-Japan and China-India trade is considerably huge. India and Japan are yet to reinvent themselves and find a replacement for China.
Find company where there are all the benefits. India is a big part of China’s diplomacy, an important partner for periphery security and economic cooperation and a strategic support for China’s peaceful development. “The dragon and elephant dance” has its own realm, feature and character. Although India and Japan follow America’s sword dance, but China’s policy towards India is still open, broad and with a lot of potential. 心藏静气与定力，在清醒、平衡、执着地推进。
(The author is the former President of China Institute of Contemporary International Relations)
近期外交文档显示，日印缔结的系列协议，多将合作重心前移至“ 印太”战略场。莫迪2014 年9 月访日，欲发展印日政军关系，夯实“向东干”外交；安倍2015 年12 月访印，提升日印关系至“世界上最具潜力”的新高度。
不久前，日本“被邀请”参加美印在菲律宾北部海域举行的“马拉巴尔”年度海上联合军演。此举显示，安倍政府力推的美澳印日“安全菱形战略”呼之欲出。其剑指中国，欲困龙浅滩，可谓司马昭之心，路人皆知。日印缘何与美抱团蹚南海浑水？显然，这与当下太平洋与印度洋的“ 形”与“势”密切相关：美中印的三大构想——美国的“亚洲再平衡”战略、中国的“海上丝路”倡议及印度的“向东干”外交，碰撞激烈、回响深远。概言之，太平洋和印度洋地区诸国围绕对美关系、对华关系，合纵连横之策论占主导，“安美经中”“两面下注”是其外交首选。在日印眼里，自己也面临如何平衡对美与对华——安全与经济关系的问题。在美国“亚洲再平衡”背景音乐下，莫迪政府的“向东干”外交与安倍内阁强军战略产生共鸣，两国以“特殊全球战略伙伴关系”新姿，携手走台。“全球”“战略”“特殊”三大卖点，勾勒出其急欲扮演“印太”地区以及全球战略角色。近期外交文档显示，日印缔结的系列协议，多将合作重心前移至“ 印太”战略场。莫迪2014 年9 月访日，欲发展印日政军关系，夯实“向东干”外交；安倍2015 年12 月访印，提升日印关系至“世界上最具潜力”的新高度。日本人说，日印关系的拔高、硬化，靠的是“缘分”：佛缘、人缘、商缘、时缘，显然有对印度“套磁”之嫌。战略界的评估相对专业：今天的日印关系源于战略观、地缘观、安全观、中国观的趋同。莫迪的“向东干”外交与安倍的“地球仪外交”异曲同工，从地球南侧的东南亚、南亚，“干”到了东北亚甚至“印太”地区。不能否认，这组关系蕴含的“特殊”“全球”“战略”意义，逐渐从承诺变成实干。日本自有其战略盘算。印度既是亚洲陆权国家，亦是印度洋颇具实力的海权国家。缘于此，在安倍政府力推的“印太”战略构想中，印度“被预设”为抗衡中国的“天然盟友”。为此，在推进对印关系，亦即算计中国上，日本是经济不计成本、外交不讲原则、军事不求对等。印度虽然长期坚持“战略自主性”，推崇不结盟政策，但“ 实际从事着结盟外交”。为重塑印度经济和安全架构，牵制中国龙出游大海，印度内心颇愿日本在“印太”战略场扮演积极角色，故而对日外交也有假戏真做、欲拒还迎的成分。那么，日印外交要“向东干”，“干全球”，意欲何为？一是经济合作。安倍2014 年承诺5 年内对印投资350 亿美元，两国签订了修建从孟买到艾哈迈德巴德的高铁协议，日本提供逾1 万亿日元的优惠贷款。二是防务合作。双方欲推进防务技术转让及合作生产军火，印欲从日引进US-2 两栖反潜机等先进装备。三是南海合作。日印要加强海上力量在南海及附近海域的存在及合作，日参加“马拉巴尔”演习即为日印南海联手之珠胎暗结。对此，安倍忍不住叫好：“日印关系开始迈入新时代。”果真如此吗？从如下几方面剖析，这组关系根基并不牢。日印首脑在战略安全上相互利用，投机逐利，谁都不会在涉及国家利益问题上，为他人作嫁衣。而且，两国对华政策温差颇大；莫迪外交不会偏离等距离、全方位主线，对华关系不至于见“异”思迁。更重要的是，中国经济体量大、潜力足，撑起的中日、中印经贸规模颇大，日印尚难以另起炉灶、取而代之。凡益之道，与时偕行。印度是中国大国外交、周边安全、经济合作的重要经略对象，是中国和平发展的战略倚重。“龙象之舞”自有其境界、特色、品格。尽管日印随美舞剑，但中国的对印、对日外交仍然胸怀大势与格局，心藏静气与定力，在清醒、平衡、执着地推进。（作者系中国现代国际关系研究院原院长）